If you’re a woman and it’s April, the hits just keep coming!
First off, April is Financial Literacy Month. Studies continue to show that women are less financially literate and confident than men, so that’s fun. Then April 14 we had Equal Pay Day, commemorating the gender wage gap. Even more fun.
And last week, we also had Tax Day on April 15.
So you may be wondering, why are we talking about taxes now? What is the difference for women? And it certainly is not fun!
The question is, how did it go? Because tax planning — which needs to begin way before April — is a critical piece of wealth management, at any level. So if April 15 was not a good day for you, if it yielded unwelcome surprises, financial pain and anxiety, or anything else that made your stomach clench, it’s time to become activist with your tax planning.
We talked about Holistic Wealth back in November, looking at how financial management can not be done as an afterthought, nor with an a la carte approach, keeping separate things like spending, investing, philanthropy, and taxes. What you actually earn from working and investing can be severely impacted by taxes, and if you are doing anything out of the ordinary — like contract work instead of a salaried position — efficient tax structures become even more critical to preserving income.
And to complicate things further… an interesting study from Betterment came out recently that found that women tend to have more variety in their tax planning needs than men, due to different types of full- and part-time work, and different life situations.
Taxes are another area where we recommend collaborating with an expert, and coming up with a holistic plan that fits all areas of your financial life and helps you meet your life goals. Remember, when you work with an expert — whether it’s a tax specialist or a financial planner — be sure you find one who helps with your learning process, and collaborates with you productively. This person can coach you, and be a partner in your development of money confidence and holistic wealth.
As we said back in November, and it may be hard to imagine feeling this way in the wake of Tax Day — a certain peace can come with the holistic approach. Decisions about money can be made as part of a system that is clearly defined and understood. Everything has a purpose, and a logic. And most importantly, everything from your spending to investing to philanthropy to tax management, is working in concert to achieve what is most important now and in the future, for you and those you care about.