WTOP Interview: Why Men Have A Stake In The Financial Empowerment of Women

Interview Transcript:

SHAWN ANDERSON: There seems to be a surge of financial information directed specifically at women today. Anything from blogs, to books, even information we share with you here on WTOP. So where does this leave men, do they have a stake in the financial empowerment of women?

HILLARY HOWARD: Joining us to talk about that one Dawn Doebler; cofounder of Her Wealth and Senior Wealth Advisor at Bridgewater Wealth in Bethesda, how you doing Dawn?

DAWN DOEBLER: Great, thanks.

HILLARY HOWARD: Good, glad to have you. You know your firm started a women’s financial initiative, but how do men fit into that?

DAWN DOEBLER: Well, we do get this question a lot, so we wanted to address this and set the record straight. Her Wealth it’s not about excluding men, it’s about including women; we really want women to be talking about money. And you know I work with a lot of couples and frankly a lot of men tell me that their wife really isn’t interested in talking about money. And my experience is actually not that they’re disinterested, it’s that they’re uncomfortable talking about money. So I want to talk to the men today and give them some ideas on how they can engage their wives, specifically we want them to help us get the conversation going. Help their women to be more confident talking about money and to get them involved in making the decisions because the reality is, if you’re not talking to your spouse about money she’s actually still making decisions and spending money, again doing things with your money that affects you and your family, so we think she should be included in the conversation.

SHAWN ANDERSON: What are some of the benefits that come from men encouraging women to become familiar with the family finances?

DAWN DOEBLER: Some of the latest statistics tell us that women stand to inherit 70% of the future wealth in the next two generations. And we also know a lot of women will be managing their money solely at some point in their lives, so really it’s important that they learn how to manage the money whether it’s money that they inherit or money that they built with their spouse. So, to talk directly to the men, we believe including the women certainly increases the financial security of your family. It’s more likely if you’re working on a financial plan with your wife that you’re going to have an estate plan and you’re going to have insurance and if something happens to one of you, your family will be more secure. It’s also more likely that your children won’t have to step in in the case that something happens and we do work with a lot of families where if the parents are planning then the kids has to step in at the last minute.

HILLARY HOWARD: What pointers can you give to the guys to encourage their spouses and daughters to really be more fully engaged?

DAWN DOEBLER: One of the things we find with women is that they tend to be fearful about money because they do tend to live longer and they are worried about running out of money. So we recommend that you really have the conversation, go through the numbers so that you can dispel some of that fear. We also do want to suggest that including your wife is a great way and a great role model for your daughters, it’s really important these days because women are getting married much later if at all. So these young women really are to be managing money much longer in their life alone than their mothers had to. We’ve a lot of tips in the article, but just a couple of quick things; don’t start the conversation talking about spending, you probably won’t get very far. We suggest you start talking at high level about what is your level of assets and also have your wife’s email address to communications about finances because that gets her engaged, it also results in her asking questions in the context of your accounts, so that gets her engaged. And we really would like the men to help us begin to speak more to women and get them involved.

SHAWN ANDERSON: Alright, very good; thanks Dawn. It’s Dawn Doebler with Bridgewater Wealth in Bethesda; read more at WTOP.com, search Her Wealth.