Financially Fearless Foundation

Are You Ready to Take Charge of Your Financial Future?

Online Course For Women Who Want to Fearlessly Manage Their Finances!

In This Course You Will Learn How To:


Review your paycheck and what every part means


Invest your money through your employer’s 401(k)


Determine your net worth. (Assets minus debts – we’ll figure out that number.)


Pay down debt faster


Build an emergency fund, even with a tight budget


Create financial goals and dreams for yourself!


Trust yourself to make smart financial decisions


Change your beliefs about money so you feel confident about managing it


Believe financial security also means choices!

You can start instantly

Three Easy Steps:

Say YES  to understanding your income, debt, and financial situation!

Say YES  to working with women who understand money and growth!
Say YES  to this INCREDIBLE online course women can’t stop talking about!
Are you ready to experience a deep sense of relief knowing your finances are on track? Financially Fearless Foundations for Women will teach you how to make plans, set goals, and be ready to move ahead once you’ve completed the course. It’s time to feel empowered by your accomplishments – you deserve it!

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It’s Time to Get Confident About Making

Financial Decisions


This course will teach you how to maximize your income by seeing what is coming in and going out through our short videos and worksheets.


You need a budget, emergency savings, financial goals, and the right insurance to protect you in an emergency. Let’s get these steps done – together.


Whatever the circumstances, letting others control the flow and power of your money is over. Today you start learning how to manage your own financial success story.

You’re in charge of your financial future. Let’s go!


Learn And Apply The Foundational Skills You Need In This Course. Get access to our FB Page To Continue The Discussion With Other Women.


Know Your Net Worth


No More Doubts About Your Financial Future


Start With The Basics and Build Your Goals

For Women

Learn From Other Women About Good Financial Decisions

Instant access to our insightful course around your schedule.

What They say about us

“The course was a good experience. I knew my finances weren’t the best and it helped guide me to write everything down - my expenses and income - so I could clearly see what I needed to do. At 59, I never expected to be worried about...

Cindy, 59
“As a young professional, Purse Strings helped me learn more about my financial state. I recently graduated from college and started earning a salary. This was a very helpful course for me to better understand where all my money is going and how much I should be...

Emma, 24
“I learned a lot about the basics of finances. We went line by line through our paycheck and looked at all the deductions, so I know where my money is being allocated. I recommend this course for anyone who needs an understanding of the basics of money...

Taylor, 26

Your Financially Fearless Foundations Instructors and Founder

Dr. Barbara Provost

Founder of Purse Strings, knows how to solve a problem. She and her team have decades of experience working with insurance and financial organizations developing training programs. She believes women are facing changes through increased education, better income opportunities, entrepreneurship, and more.

Women can learn how to be active participants in financial conversations about their future. Consider these factors: women typically live longer than men and they face critical life changes when they get married, have children, become divorced or widowed, health issues, and retirement. This is why Barbara

used her expertise to create the first empowerment, education, and training tool on how women can become financially fearless.

Maggie Nielsen

COO of Purse Strings, has been an integral part of the business from the beginning. She started as a scribe, gathering notes at focus groups, and was deeply moved by the stories women shared about their fears, disappointments, insecurities, and troubles, all stemming from their lack of knowledge, skill, and support in managing their money.

A graduate of Loyola University with an MBA in Data Analytics, Maggie oversees all technology, systems, processes, and procedures at Purse Strings. She also handles their Sales and Outreach programs. Maggie believes it is her mission to encourage women to come to the table and create their own financial stories so they can live fearless lives.

Build Your Financial Fearless Foundations Today

What They say about us

When Is Now The Right Time?

The Financially Fearless Foundations Online Course is done at your pace, virtually, so you can learn, apply, and build your skills. You’ll have unlimited access to the course for a one-time cost of $99 $49 plus you can join our Facebook Group for ongoing support. If you’re not 100% satisfied after 30-days, we’ll give you a refund. (Hint: no one has ever asked for one!)

Enter your email for immediate access

Purse Strings Professionals

Financial Professionals – Learn How to Connect with an Underserved $20+ Trillion Dollar Market – WOMEN!

They Make Financial Decisions Different

Than Men.

Learn the power of the female market

Download this guide to learn what women want from their financial professionals!


Do you have the right skills or plan to attract these key clients?

For immediate online access to innovative strategies that will grow your business.

Financial Professionals – Learn How to Connect with This $20+ Trillion Target Market of Women! They Make Financial Decisions Different Than Men.


Over 75% of Financial Advisors are Men – And The Majority of Their Clients are Men


85% of Women Control Their Family’s Daily Finances and Take Over When Men Leave/Die

Once Trust is Established, Women Refer 26 Friends Compared to Only 11 Referrals by Men

Women Are A Powerful Market – Build Your Business With Our Online Course

Is This Course Right For You?


Connect with the $20+ Trillion market that has growth potential to $30 trillion in the next 3-5 years.


Enhance the client experience for women in a way that resonates with them.


Grow your female client base to significantly impact your success.

Women are a powerful yet neglected market with financial professionals. WHY?

Quite simply, most financial professionals use a linear explanation and sales process that does not resonate with women. We regularly hear from women that financial professionals:


Don’t understand my unique needs.


Don’t listen to or answer my questions


Don’t look me in the eye when speaking.


Don’t take time to learn about my financial goals.


Don’t provide clear and timely communication.


Don’t connect with me or give me time to process information.


Instant Access To Learn How To Reach, Engage, And Earn The Female Dollar!

Discover Why These Amazing Women Aren’t Choosing You

What They say about us

I’ve been working in this industry for over 25 years; this training is necessary.

Financial advisors that are newer to the industry will gain valuable insights on how to respectfully serve not just women but all clients. Veteran advisors will learn techniques to enhance the client experience and provide a comfortable, pleasant way for women to approach their financial future.

Financial Advisor
I learned that the way women reach their buying decisions is unique and different. And, the amount of female dollars is staggering.

Financial Professional

Your Instructor for “Reach, Engage and Earn the Female Dollar©”

Dr. Barbara Provost, Founder of Purse Strings LLC, knows how to solve a problem. She and her team have decades of experience working with insurance and financial organizations developing training programs. Barbara found women are consistently overlooked in these industries, leaving potentially $20 trillion in untapped sales on the table. Women are a powerful demographic. Their financial future is crucial, especially since women typically live longer than men. With a goal and single-minded purpose, Barbara used her expertise to create the first empowerment, education, and training tool on how insurance and financial institutions need to reach and engage women and earn the vast spending power of the female dollar.

What Will I Learn?

  • Learn what women are thinking about during the sales conversation.
  • Find out what you are doing that doesn’t connect with women and what you can do about it.
  • Discover how to ensure that you remain relevant in a changing financial climate.


The Reach, Engage, and Earn The Female Dollar© Online Course is completed at your pace, virtually, so you can learn, apply, and build your skills. You’ll have unlimited access to the course for 1-year for a one-time cost of $499. If you’re not 100% satisfied after 30-days, we’ll give you a refund. (Hint: no one has ever asked for one!)

Auto Insurance

Auto Insurance



Helpful Terms
& Tools


Auto Overview

You may think of vehicle insurance as one of those things you just need to buy, making quick decisions based on the “standard” policy that suits most people. However, coverage can be expensive—and damages from an accident can be even more expensive, so it pays to think about what you’re buying, and why.

    • Before you purchase vehicle insurance, make sure you think about your life as a whole, the value of your assets and risk factors as a whole, and begin there when making decisions about what coverages to buy. Coverage could be different if you drive a Jaguar versus a Kia.
    • Be sure you share these factors with your agent, if you use one.
    • Be wary of any insurance company or insurance agent who tries to sell you insurance coverage without asking you any questions! Chances are you’d find out that you weren’t properly covered when you’re in an accident, or perhaps you’d discover you’re paying too much money for coverage you don’t need or that you already have through some other means.
    • Your coverage should be designed for you!

Vehicle insurance is not a no-brainer or one-size-fits-all. As with any other financial transaction, education is your best tool and will lead you to the greatest success.

Here You
Will Learn

  • An overview of vehicle insurance
  • How to get the right amount of coverage
  • How auto insurance can crossover other insurance products so that you don’t overpay for coverage, or worse, underinsure yourself.
  • How to read your policy’s declaration page.
  • About the broad number of people and entities with a financial interest in any automobile insurance; know who these parties are and what they need or want when there’s an accident.
  • Know what to do if you are in an auto accident with damages and/or injuries.

Auto Basics

Accidents happen. We don’t mean them to, they just do. And so you carry insurance on your vehicle, to pay for the repairs and sometimes medical bills that come with accidents. Whether the accident is your fault or someone else’s, you’re a responsible adult, and adulting means having insurance.

But not all insurance is the same. There are varying levels of coverage that protect you in different circumstances. Some insurance covers things other than accidents (and sometimes these things can be covered more cheaply elsewhere). And there are also state minimum coverages you need to keep in mind.

The “auto” in auto insurance doesn’t stand for automatic – you need to consider a lot of factors, and most policies are endlessly customizable. Here are the four most important things to think about.

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 What are your minimum coverages? There are likely state minimum for Liability and Collision coverage, and if you have an auto loan or lease, you’re likely required to carry certain amounts of Collision coverage.

How much coverage do you need?  This requires some significant thought. Do you need towing and rental coverage in your policy? How much liability coverage is the right amount? How important is uninsured motorist coverage?

Do I need to use an insurance agent?  The choice of whether to use an agent or not is a personal one, but should be considered. Many agents are very helpful professionals who can help you navigate a complicated subject. Having that kind of person in your corner can definitely be a benefit – but like insurance policies, not all agents are created equal.

What is your insurance company going to do in the case of an accident?  Understanding how insurance companies operate, and who has a financial stake when an accident is involved, can help you be a more informed consumer – which in turn results in better choices on your part. Do I need to use an insurance agent? The choice of whether to use an agent or not is a personal one, but should be considered. Many agents are very helpful professionals who can help you navigate a complicated subject. Having that kind of person in your corner can definitely be a benefit – but like insurance policies, not all agents are created equal.

Did You Know

Many states set minimums for auto insurance coverage? Make sure you check with your state’s department of motor vehicles or insurance agent to get enough coverage.




Saving Hacks

Helpful Terms
& Tools

Snowball Method

Budget – The Dreaded B Word

Budget. The dreaded “B” word. Everyone hates making a budget. It gives you feelings of dread, cold chills up your spine. But it doesn’t have to feel that way. In fact, budgeting can be rather empowering. Remember, you are in charge of every single dollar you earn. And making a budget helps you spend those dollars where you want to spend them.

Fair enough – when you pay the rent, the light bill, the water bill, etc., it doesn’t feel like you are in control… but, you made the decision to live where you live, to have running water at the lift of a finger and lights at the click of a switch. How lucky are you? The more you practice noticing all of the things you own, have and enjoy, the more you can create a feeling of abundance instead of dread.

Think about it: in Haiti, 78% of people live on less than $2 a day. More than half of rural households and about a quarter of urban households in sub-Saharan Africa lack easy access to drinking water. In the US, the average household net-adjusted disposal income per capita is USD $41,355 a year versus Mexico which is $13,085. We have a lot to be thankful for here in our country!
So as you take stock of all the things you have, we want to give you some tools on how to make your income work even more in your favor. This handy guide will help you change your mindset about budgeting from dread to empowerment. It will turn it from a chore into something that you do to help take control of your life. You will learn about some tools that can help you track expenses – there are many apps out there, for free, that can give you economic power at your fingertips. You will also get some tips on being conscious about spending your money and ideas on how to save some of that hard earned cash. Finally, we’ll share some tips on debt reduction that can make small amounts of money snowball into big payoffs!
Let’s reframe how powerful you really are and how you wield your power with your money.

Here You
Will Learn

  • To think about budgeting as making empowering decisions about how you want to manage your life (as well as your paycheck).
  • To identify apps and tools that can help you easily track spending.
  • Tips on how to be financially conscious about how you spend your hard-earned cash!
  • How to identify and stop the leaks in your budget.
  • How to use snowball payments to reduce (or eliminate) debt.

Rethinking Spending

When we want to manage our weight, we log what we eat so we are conscious about how we are spending our calories. Budgeting uses the same concept – it’s being financially conscious of where your money is going.

You may feel trapped by your paycheck, but budgeting gives you back the power and control. Creating a budget makes you think about “needs” vs “wants.” When we talk about needs, we’re talking about the bare necessities – food, shelter, etc.​Wants are things like​a new pair of shoes or handbag.

wants vs needs
needs vs wants

We know, despite the best budgeting in the world, its sometimes difficult to stretch your money between paydays – so the first step is to see where the money is going! Once you’ve assessed that, we’ll help you figure out the next steps you can take to financial empowerment. 

Did You Know

If you buy a $5 coffee every day it adds up to $150 a month! If you make around $40k per year, that’s about 5% of your monthly income. On coffee!

Buying A House

Buying a House

Home Buying

Mortgage Payments

Steps To Buying

Financial Help & References

Your Biggest Purchase

So you’ve decided to buy a house. This can be one of the most rewarding experiences of your entire life. Nothing feels quite as good as the pride of owning the place you call home. But the process can be overwhelming but if you have Purse Strings Approved Professionals on your team, they can make it smooth experience. 

You are to be congratulated if you’re at the place in your life where you’re considering this – it’s a huge milestone in your life. And if you’re doing it as a single woman, we’re even more proud of you!

Homeownership provides the financial security to safeguard women’s progress, and paves the way for future generations. With college degrees and higher earnings, women have increased their home buying activity and buying power. More single women purchase homes than single men, so you’re in good company.

We’re going to cover all the things you need to know to make this process go as smoothly as possible, but every situation is different. This is without a doubt the largest purchase you’re ever going to make, so it is one that you should approach with honesty and care. We will discuss the various costs involved with buying a home. Next, we’ll give you some steps to take to prepare for your home buying journey. A Purse Strings Approved Provider can help you calculate how much home you can afford.

Nothing really compares to the pride of home ownership!


Here You
Will Learn

  • How to determine if buying a house is a good financial investment for you.
  • Considering ALL the costs involved with buying a house.
  • How to prepare to make the biggest financial decisions of your life.
  • Calculate what you can afford for your homeownership.
  • The best places for women to buy a home.
What You Need to Consider.

Purse Strings is here to help you make educated choices about the best way to use your money and empower you to take your financial futures in your own hands. The decision to purchase a home can be one of the biggest purchases you make. But, home ownership is an investment that can really pay off. Consider these five factors to help make the right decision.

Debt. Do you have significant credit card debt? Then consider talking to a Purse Strings Approved Professional to help you take a look at your debt and still achieve your goal of buying a home.

Savings. There are loan programs for financial and down payment assistance and other options like negotiations to get sellers credit. Some people think they need to wait until they have 20% of the purchase price for a down payment; however, waiting to save this amount may cost you in the long run. Your Purse Strings Approved Professional can help assess what is best for your situation. 

Stability. Everyone is a lot more mobile these days and are not sure if they should purchase a home. Do you envision moving within three to five years? Some people consider moving and renting their home as a way of building equity in their home ownership. Your Purse Strings Approved Professional can help assess what is best for your situation. 

Income. A reliable and steady income is needed to qualify for a loan. Types of income can include your salary/ wages, self employment income, alimony, child support, social security and trusts.

Responsibility. Home buying is a big process and a decision that should be made with a Purse Strings Approved Professional Realtor and loan officer. Understanding all the cost that go into a home purchase is important.  

Did You Know

More than one in five home buyers is a single woman, and twice as many unmarried women are buying homes than single men. Single women make up more than one-third of the growth in real estate ownership since 1994.

Home Owners Insurance

Homeowners Insurance





Helpful Terms
& Tools

What’s Covered

Homeowners Overview


Homeowner’s and renter’s insurance is one of those aspects of adult life that you just can’t avoid. It is something that is potentially expensive, something you will rarely use, but also something every responsible adult should have.

Like auto insurance, this is one of those bills you’re going to have for the rest of your life. Even if you pay off your auto loan or your mortgage, you still need to have insurance. And like all of the topics we cover on Purse Strings, a little bit of education goes a long way in being a smart consumer and taking your financial future seriously.

The topic of homeowner’s insurance is a big one. This is because there are so many variables that come into play when purchasing coverage, and a lot of it is based on where you live.


    • Insurance regulations vary by state
    • There are many regional variations as well – depending on risk factors such as floods, hurricanes, wild fires, and earthquakes (among others)
    • Even at the neighborhood level, things such as how close your home is to a fire department, a fire hydrant, a major roadway, or a river, factor into the insurance company’s risk equation

In addition to all of these factors, the insurance industry has come up with all sorts of different (and creative) products and add-ons to address all of the different ways people live in and use their homes. Understanding the endless product options can be overwhelming, and we certainly won’t be tackling all of these topics, but we will try to make sure you know what you need to be an informed consumer.

This module will get you up to speed on the many terms you will need to know when talking to your agent, teach you about what insurance companies will want to know about you, cover the basic types of insurance policies, and show you how to figure out how much coverage you need.

Here You
Will Learn

  • Important terms you will need to know when talking with your agent about your Homeowners or renters insurance policies.
  • What insurance companies want to know about you before they will insure your home or apartment
  • The two basic types of homeowner’s insurance policies.
  • How to calculate what it would cost to rebuild your home so that you know how much coverage you will need.
  • How insurance companies share information with each other about your claims.

Homeowner Basics

When you buy insurance you’re buying the promise of help in the event of a disaster. You make a monthly payment (premium) that is calculated according to your unique probability for a loss. This includes not only your home and furniture, but your activities in and around the home as well.

rent vs own

When you shop for insurance, insurance companies provide a price quote to you based on the risk factors they determine you are exposed to. They determine that level of risk based on a brief interview about you and your property, or if you’re shopping online, through an online questionnaire.

The price quote is an estimate of your premium cost. Once you agree to the price quote, the insurance company goes to work verifying everything about your dwelling—data that tells them how likely it is that you will need to file an insurance claim in the future. They also check YOU out, using something called an insurance score, your credit report, your motor vehicle report (yes, even if it’s a homeowner’s policy!) and other data to ensure you’re an upstanding citizen who is a good risk.

When something happens to your home (or sometimes to the people in your home), you file a claim. The insurance company will send out an adjuster, a person trained to assess the damage and how much the insurance company should pay out on the claim. You will pay a deductible (which is determined in your policy) and then the insurance company will pay you for the damages (based on the adjuster’s estimate).


Factors in your Home Insurance Quote
understanding home insurance | guide to home owners insurance

Insurance Score

learn about auto insurance

Motor Vehicle Report

Credit Score

Did You Know

Half of adults age 50 and over have not discussed retirement health care costs with their spouse.

Medical Expenses

Medical Expenses

Health Care

Helpful Terms & Tools

Ways To Save

Medicare Basics

Medicaid For Women 

In Retirement & References

Unraveling Health Care

There’s no argument that health care has gotten complicated over the years – and so expensive. In fact, women ranked healthcare the number one financial burden for the US economy.

One thing that we know for sure – you and your family need some kind of healthcare coverage. Data show that health emergencies are among the most common economic hardships, and one in six families makes an extraordinary medical expense in any given year. The result? A financial impact from which a family cannot fully recover – even after a year. And not surprisingly, the financial gender gap worsens after a large, unexpected medical expense, leaving women with significantly more revolving credit card debt than men.

So we’re going to help you get educated on the things you need to know about healthcare and how it impacts your financial future. You still have to do the work on your particular situation, but we’ll share some pointers on how to figure out what you need and ways to work the system from a financial point of view. We’ll give you some ideas on how to get relief in the case of major healthcare expenses, so it doesn’t ruin your finances. We will also talk about healthcare expenses in your retirement, which will be significant, and give you some tools to help calculate those costs. And finally, we’ll give you a breakdown of Medicare and Medicaid and how and when each program can help you.

This is a big one, but it is as important for your overall financial picture as anything else we could talk about.


Here You
Will Learn

  • How to make smart financial decision when it comes to healthcare – without sacrificing your health
  • Ways to get help with health care expenses
  • Why saving now for future healthcare costs is so important for women
  • How to calculate costs of healthcare in retirement
  • The different parts of Medicare
  • When Medicaid plays a role in retirement healthcare

Where to Start

Every year you have important financial healthcare decisions to make, based on our own particular situation. Healthcare is complicated enough to begin with, but since every individual has a unique case, it just makes it that more difficult. You need to think about which plan to select, whether to go with a low or high deductible, how many times you might go to the doctor, your children’s needs, planned surgeries, whether or not you’re going to have a baby, and most importantly, what kind of plan can you afford.

So where do you start? Well, if you’ve been following along with our other education pieces, you’ve already worked through your budget. Having a number to start with can be helpful in any financial decision, so we recommend looking over your budget and seeing how much healthcare you can afford. Keep in mind you might need to figure out how to make this number bigger as you assess costs and your needs, but you have to start somewhere, right?


Next, we recommend capturing two sets of data:  

Go through your medical needs for you and any dependents you may be responsible for. Do you have any ongoing medical conditions? What medications do you take regularly? How many times per year, on average, do you go to the doctor? Are you thinking about getting pregnant? This information will be important when you look at available plans.

Gather information on healthcare plan options, including the costs and coverages. Your employer may or may not offer a plan, and that plan may or may not be the best option for you. Your state may have a healthcare exchange, and there is also a federal exchange, where you can shop for plan options. You may also qualify for CHIP, Medicare, or Medicaid. All of that can be reviewed here: You can also look at plans by a simple Internet search, or if you have an insurance advisor they may be able to help you identify and evaluate plans.

Then comes the really hard part – you need to go through each plan, assess what it covers and, more importantly, what it doesn’t cover, and make a decision. There are trade offs you will have to make (see some tips below), but if you do your homework you can make an informed decision. We’re not going to lie: this is a really difficult process, and at times you’re going to feel like you need a crystal ball. The decisions you make could be life changing for you and your family. But we know that you can handle it – because you’re a savvy and intelligent woman!

Did You Know

Before ACA, women buying insurance on the individual market were routinely charged up to 50% more for monthly premiums than men. This practice was known as “gender rating.”

Power Of The Paycheck

Power Of The Paycheck

Helpful Terms & Tools




What’s in a Paycheck

Yahoo – nothing feels as good as payday, but did you know that besides paying your bills, your paycheck can actually help you meet your financial goals?

You look forward to your paycheck, sometimes counting the days until it hits your account. But besides freeing you from another package of ramen, your paycheck is actually a powerful financial tool – and lots of women don’t realize just how powerful it can be.

Remember when you started that new job and you filled out all that paperwork about deductions and auto drafts and benefits? Well, those are all choices you get to make about your financial future, and those choices can turn your paycheck into an engine that opens up new worlds of financial possibilities.

This handy guide will help you learn about your paycheck (not as simple as you might have thought) and how to manage it to provide the greatest benefit (not as complicated as you might think). We’ll tell you about how deductions can be used to help achieve financial goals, how to setup your exemptions to improve your tax withholdings, how you can take advantage of free money from your employer, and how to understand the numerous sources of income you might be overlooking.

Are you ready to take another gander at that paystub and see what your paycheck is (and isn’t) doing for you? Then read on, sister!


Here You
Will Learn

  • How to use payroll deductions strategically to save money, build investments, reduce income taxes, and pay for employee deductions
  • How to manage your income and deductions (thus affecting your take-home pay) through withholding strategies
  • How to get free money from your employer
  • How to calculate all of your sources of income to avoid over or under paying for taxes

Big Financial Impacts

All those choices you made when you first started your job – the withholdings, insurance decisions, and tax exemptions – are all things that you can use to your advantage. And they will likely need to change as your life changes because as your life changes, your financial needs change.

When was the last time you examined your paycheck to see what’s yours, what’s not, who takes it, and why?

Did You Know

You can avoid surprise income taxes by keeping track of all your sources of income (not just your paycheck). Income could include tips, gambling winnings, rental income from owned property, unemployment compensation, social security income, lottery winnings, alimony/child support, if you sell something – like a car, scholarship income, and more….



Getting Started

Why You Need To Act Now

Helpful Terms
& Tools

What To Consider

Social & Security References

Getting Started

Retirement is not something you think about every day. For one thing, you’re never going to stop working, right? But at some point you’re going to want to stop (probably) and when that day comes, you’re going to need to have money – because even though your working days have stopped you still have to pay your bills.

Start with a vision – how do you see yourself spending your time in your post-work years? That vision is your goal, and in order to reach your goal, you’re going to need to create a plan. You’re going to need to account for living expenses, travel, healthcare, and many other things. How much will you need? Where will the money come from? The answers to those questions are the backbone of your retirement plan.

So when should you make this plan, and when should you start saving for retirement? Now! Right now! Stop what you are doing and don’t put this task off for one more minute. Here’s why – after a lifetime of working, you deserve the retirement you want, not the retirement you are forced into. Women should be enjoying their retirement, not bagging groceries or handing me a cart at Walmart.

Women face an uphill battle. We start off with numerous disadvantages and are also more likely to be spending retirement on our own because we tend to live longer than our spouses or partners. On top of the income gap and time away from work to raise a family, women typically haven’t spent the time they need to make a retirement plan! Whether that’s because of fear, social programming, or something else, you owe it to yourself to break this trend. Become financially fearless. Take charge of your own retirement.

And start RIGHT NOW!


Here You

Will Learn

  • The things that get in the way of retirement for women and how to mitigate them
  • What you can do NOW to get started (getting started is the hardest part!)
  • How to improve your retirement outlook, once you do get started
  • About some great online calculators (and discuss some of their pitfalls)
  • A bit about how social security comes into play

Why Retirement is a Woman’s Issue

Women are at a disadvantage when it comes to retirement. There are a lot of reasons for that, but the biggest one is about income. Women make .79 to every $1 earned by her male counterpart. That impacts social security contributions as well as savings and investment potential and results in women, on average, having 42% less money than men.

The Retirement Income Gender Gap


Job Earnings Gap

The average woman working full-time earns .79 cents to every $1 earned by her male conterpart.


Social Security

Lower earnings and larger caretaking responsibilities create a shortage of social security benefits


Retirement Savings

Competing demands on women’s time can make it a challenge for them to focus on long-term financial planning.


Retirement Income

These factors, plus others, including being more likely to be single later in life, result in much lower retirement income.

stats women vs men | statistics about women and money
Sources: U.S. Census Bureau, US Department of Health and Human Services, Social Security Administration, Prudential Retirement.


In addition to the income issue, there are many other factors that impact your retirement. Women often don’t make retirement a priority and procrastination is a behavior that will impact your retirement savings.

Here are some other common retirement barriers facing women and ways to mitigate them.



Women live longer. Today’s average 65-year-old man can expect to live until age 84.3; the average 65-year-old woman can expect to live until age 86.6. The earlier you start saving the better off you’ll be.



Women tend to be less financially literate. Education is the key to building a smart portfolio – you need knowledge to make decisions with confidence.



Women rely on their husbands to make financial plans. Such arrangements leave women vulnerable, especially when their husbands pass away. Take personal responsibility for your financial independence through education and personal involvement.



Women take more time off from work to focus on family. When you are working, make sure you are maximizing your retirement benefits.



Women are more likely to be stay-at-home Moms. Have your husband contribute to a spousal IRA on your behalf—up to $5,500 in 2015 (or $6,500, if you’re 50 or older).



Here’s a Biggee! Women are more likely to prioritize other financial goals over their retirement savings. Fund your retirement first, before trying to tackle things like the kids’ college funds.



Some women spend too much on health care. You can trim those costs using simple tactics, such as switching to generic medications and using in-network providers. And take advantage of the tax savings offered by a health savings account.



Women don’t take advantage of ex-spousal social security benefits. If you were married for 10 or more years and you don’t remarry, you may be eligible to collect benefits on your ex-spouse’s earnings record.


Ladies, the deck is stacked against us. So whether you are 18 or 48, get started now!


Did You Know

Because of longer life expectancies, women tend to spend their final years alone due to widowhood or divorce. Some may never marry. A woman’s retirement could last 30 years or more, often relying on a single income.

Student Loan Guide

Student Loans

Student Loans

Helpful Terms
& Tools

Repayment & References

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

College is getting more and more expensive, but a college degree is a vital credential for a young person entering the workforce. So how are you going to pay for college? The new normal is with student loans.

Women are now the majority on college campuses across the United States—representing 56% of all students enrolled as of fall 2016. A report by the American Association of University Women (AAUW) found that on average, women hold $833 billion—or almost two-thirds—of the country’s $1.3-trillion student debt, compared to the $477 billion that men hold.

Women have made gains in the workplace but there’s still a wage gap. Although attending college costs the same for both genders, women are more burdened by student loan debt after graduating. They spend a higher proportion of their salaries on paying off debt because, well, they have lower salaries to work with than men — from the very start.

When you combine the need for more student loans to pay for school with the wage gap, it’s easy to understand why women take longer to pay off their debt. Because women struggle more to manage their loan that also means that they have to delay other financial goals.

About one-third of women experience financial difficulties, (like covering living expenses) while paying off their loans, compared to just one-fourth of men, according to the study. And a full 57% of African American women repaying student loans say they were unable to meet essential expenses within the past year.

So how do you get that vitally important degree and still achieve your financial goals? It is a tricky needle to thread, but we’re going to give you the information you need to prevent this aspect of your financial life from taking over completely. We’ll give you some background on the impact of student loans on women and why women take longer to pay off their student loan debt. Then we’ll give you some tips on how to limit that debt. We’ve got some handy calculators to help you assess pay-off strategies, and we’ll share some information on how to get some of those loans forgiven.


Here You
Will Learn

  • The impact student loan debt has on women
  • Why women take longer to pay off their student loan debt
  • Tips on how to limit student loan debt
  • Calculators to assess appropriate pay-off strategies
  • Way to get student loan forgiven

The Long Term Impact

Student loans are likely a person’s first foray into the financial world, but student loan debt has long-term consequences. From buying a car or a home to getting married and even having children, many millennials are putting off life’s major milestones because of their outstanding student loans. This has many dire effects, namely the inability to build up a good credit history early in life.

In the time period between one and four years after graduation, men paid off an average of 38 percent of their outstanding debt, while women paid off 31 percent.  Difficulty repaying student loans is also reflected in default rates, which are higher for women than for men, and much higher for black and Hispanic borrowers than for white and Asian borrowers. Women — especially women of color — are most likely to experience difficulties: 34 percent of all women and 57 percent of black women who were repaying student loans reported that they had been unable to meet essential expenses within the past year.

The struggles of college graduates with student debt can be significant, but students who leave college without completing their academic program are more than twice as likely as graduates to default on their student loans. While these borrowers may have debt amounts that are small in absolute terms, their precarious economic position without a certificate or degree to improve their prospects in the labor market means that they may be unable to repay those loans.

Student loans are pretty much unavoidable. There are many strategies to reduce the amount you need to take, and ways to mitigate the challenges they pose, but let’s start this conversation assuming you have or are going to have some serious student loan debt. What you need to know is this: like any other financial challenge you are going to face in your life, this one is manageable. With a little bit of knowledge and some hard work, you can get your student loan debt under control.


Did You Know

For many young women, the challenge of paying back student loans is their first encounter with the pay gap.