Have a Daughter? Educate her about Finance, Credit and Buying a Home
Maybe the following has become a more personal worry to me this last year because I became the grandfather to a beautiful baby girl last October. That certainly has brought the urgency of the following topic “home” to me.
In the not too distance past, having conversations with a daughter concerning finances, credit, and buying a home just never would have happened. Thankfully, those times are now behind us.
As I’ve mentioned before in previous posts, talking finances and credit with any child is important. And those conversations and financial education should occur early-on. The better grasp our children have of these topics, the better for their future. (Click 4 Previous Post on How Sesame Street is Helping Accomplish This!) But for daughters and women in general, the need to talk and learn about this topic takes on special significance and urgency. Two facts drive this need:
First, according to a 2006 study by Harvard University’s Joint Center for Housing Studies, the following is currently true:
The average age when a woman first marries increased as more women sought education and career before committing to a relationship. (And I add: IF they ever married/committed)
Secondly, the next statistic is now true …
Among Americans 65 years of age and older, 42% of women, but just 14% of men, are widowed. (The cold hard fact is women live longer and generally marry/commit to older men, increasing the probability of them outliving their partner.)
These two facts speak volumes about the great need to educate females regarding a host of today’s financially-based topics, such as credit, careers, savings, financial planning, buying homes, debt management, and more.
That said, it is also true that right now the percentage of single female home buyers is much higher than that of single males. 2010 statistics from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) place single female home buyers at 20%, to just 12% single male buyers. The number of single female buyers is growing quickly too. The percentage of single females buying a home on their own today has doubled, in comparison to the 1990’s.
Using these statistics and facts, and then pairing them with the unique and beneficial set of circumstances that surround home buying in the current market (historically low interest rates and falling/lower home prices making it very appealing and more likely that single females will buy) … you can see how great the need and urgency to have “that talk” and for educating our country’s young females in regards to all financial topics actually is.
The stated statistics and facts also unfortunately indicate that females are likely to be making some pretty important financial decisions on their own at some point in their future.
So parents … educators … real estate professionals … financial planners … loved ones … we need to step-up and address their needs NOW. Make the information available in a variety of ways, at varying ages. We also must make sure that when asked questions, we answer them honestly and thoroughly with an eye to female needs.
We must see that females get the proper tools and education they need regarding financial issues so that they can make sound decisions when called upon … or when choosing to do so. This will better equip them during their future, protect them financially, and also help them benefit more fully from their financial decisions as well.
Originally posted at: http://www.genemundt.com/blog/2011/10/20/Have-a-Daughter-Educate-Her-About-Finance-Credit-and-Buying-a-Home.aspx