Six Ways Women Can Overcome Any Financial Obstacles Holding Them Back

To improve your financial situation, focus on empowering yourself first.

An older woman stands outside and opens her arms to the wind.
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Whether it’s limiting cultural expectations, wage disparities or planning for longer-term care, there are some financial challenges women face that their male counterparts may never experience. And while these can be major roadblocks to financial success on their own, these obstacles can be even more difficult to overcome if you don’t have much experience handling finances or knowledge about the best ways to tackle financial issues.

However, according to the financial experts of Kiplinger Advisor Collective, the best way to improve your financial situation is to empower yourself through the following six steps. By making each of these steps a priority, women can take charge of their financial well-being, strengthen their financial literacy and equip themselves with the skills they need to succeed with money now and well into the future.

Seek out education and guidance
“Lack of confidence is the biggest obstacle I see with women in regards to personal finances — and who can blame us? Personal finance has been a socially taboo topic, and although the landscape around it is changing, it can still be intimidating to engage in those conversations. Women who are confident in their personal finances have sought out education, attended personal finance events, engaged in conversations with mentors or have a professional on their side guiding them. I would encourage any woman (or man) interested in becoming more confident with personal finances to continually seek out education and information and/or find an expert you are comfortable working with to help build your knowledge and confidence.” — Lyndsey Monahan, Women Inspire Wealth

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Plan for aging (perhaps beyond your spouse)
“The biggest challenge I see is that most of my female clients aren't planning for the later years in life as well as they should be. Most are not really thinking about how women usually live longer than men. They need to plan for that lifestyle change — physically, mentally and financially. Those who are single need to do the same thing but from a different perspective.” — Bob Chitrathorn, Wealth Planning By Bob Chitrathorn of Simplified Wealth Management

Take an active, vested interest in your finances
“I believe that women of all ages, stages and income levels should take a more active role in financial planning. As women feel more informed and included in financial decision-making, they develop more confidence about personal finance. Increased confidence builds empowerment and resilience.” — Marguerita Cheng, Blue Ocean Global Wealth

Kiplinger Advisor Collective is the premier criteria-based professional organization for personal finance advisors, managers, and executives. Learn more >

Learn more about managing and maintaining your largest asset
“The financial and physical aspects of managing, maintaining and improving a home, your largest asset and biggest expense, can often be intimidating. Start researching by using search engines, YouTube, DIY blogs and other self-service resources. This builds your knowledge base and increases your confidence level when engaging with contractors or financial service providers before you buy.” — John Bodrozic, HomeZada

Master the 'rules' of the game
“Having conversed with numerous women on the subject, I’ve noticed a prevailing theme emerges: fear and overwhelm. Personal finances may appear daunting, yet the truth is, it's not complex; it just consists of several moving parts. Similar to chess, mastering the game's rules is key to participation. Women naturally embody the role of household CFOs, so it's not about feeling daunted by numbers but rather comprehending how all elements work together to achieve your goals. Therefore, my suggestion is to understand your goals, acquire knowledge and acquaint yourself with financial jargon. Once these foundations are established, work toward your goals in small but actionable steps.” — Ramona Ortega, My Money My Future

Take control of your future (and don’t leave it to chance)
“Many women are not involved in the financial planning process in their marriage. The simple fact is that all marriages will come to an end — either through divorce or death. It's absolutely crucial to be involved in the financial planning now so you'll know how to meet your needs in the future. Leaving your finances up to chance is not a sound financial plan.” — Greg Welborn, First Financial Consulting

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The information provided here is not investment, tax or financial advice. You should consult with a licensed professional for advice concerning your specific situation.

Kiplinger Advisor Collective

Kiplinger Advisor Collective is the premier criteria-based professional organization for personal finance advisors, managers, and executives.