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Go Red for Women’s Heart Health

(and Financial Health!) in February

Did you know that the same inequalities exist in women’s finances and in a heart attack misdiagnosis?

For real. Let’s explain. First of all, did you know that women’s heart attack symptoms don’t present the same way as men’s heart attack symptoms? Did you know that doctors sometimes even brush off women’s concerns? They say, “Go on vacation, drink a glass of wine, here’s a prescription for an antidepressant.” (When the culprit is actually a heart attack, waiting to pounce.)

Did you ever think about how the financial industry doesn’t treat women the same as men — and women pay for it in much the same way as a misdiagnosis? (They suffer, big time.)

It’s easy to let heart month (and our finances) slip by when we don’t advocate for ourselves, but this year, let’s do something about it! 

Who’s with me? Let’s goooo!

The Most Prevalent Information Skews Toward Men 

Did you know that women tend to have heart attack symptoms more often when resting or even when asleep (yikes!) than they do in men?

Did you know that the most common heart attack symptom in women is the same as in men? Chest pain, pressure, or discomfort that lasts more than a few minutes or comes and goes. But guess what? Chest pain is not always severe, or even the first symptom women notice. It might feel more like pressure or tightness — and no chest pain might present itself at all. 

Unfortunately, due to these reasons, women don’t always recognize their symptoms as a heart attack because many materials, education, and news articles describe an elephant on the chest. How unsettling is that? Puts women squarely at a disadvantage, right? 

Did you ever think about how the financial industry does the same thing? Some examples: Information skews toward men, and the financial industry also gears toward men’s products.

Financial Information: Created with Men in Mind

Inclusion and equality: These two words just don’t walk hand in hand when talking about money and women. The financial industry isn’t set up to accommodate women — just like medicine isn’t adequately set up to handle women and heart disease. 

Have you ever said, “I’m afraid of losing money” or “Yikes, the stock market dipped?” And proceeded to keep all your money in a savings account or checking account?

If so, you may just not be aware that it’s actually more risky to leave your money in your savings account! You don’t benefit from compound interest or dividends and market gains.

What would happen if you lost your job? What if your spouse died? 

You’d burn through your savings, have to wait on a life insurance policy or garner an inheritance from your wealthy parents. 

Women who don’t invest actually take on more risk than if you do invest. Does it make you feel better to realize that it’s not your fault — that you just didn’t know? That’s where Purse Strings comes in. We will guide you on the things you just don’t know because you were never taught to navigate your finances in a very man-oriented world. You’ll only experience gentle guidance from us. We’re here to help you get pointed in the right direction.

The Financial Industry Gears Toward Men

Take a look at any stock tool and it looks like a video game. Trading simulators look like the command center of the Battlestar Galactica. They’re intimidating, most platforms are black with arrays of ticker symbols, red and green candlesticks and involve a very unfriendly interface. Every single app or desktop trading station you see looks like it’s made for men — by men. 

Where’s the friendly helping hand? How do relationships remain a factor? Heck, where are the pretty colors? 

The point is, women, get shut out of the technology of finance, the trading floor, the very conversations that revolve around finance, investing, and trading. They aren’t approached well in financial advisors’ offices (“Talk to me, not my husband!”) and a million other slights and challenges.

And women — you! — suffer financially because of it.

These Disadvantages Add Up

Your life and health also matter in the context of how much it costs when you have heart disease — even if you have insurance. Consider the cost of prescription medications, co-pays,  physical therapy, and on and on. 

Heart disease cost the United States about $219 billion from 2014 to 2015. This includes the cost of health care services, medicines and lost productivity. Very similarly, when financial plans or decisions don’t focus on the unique needs of women, you could become financially insolvent when it comes to your financial future.

Don’t Forget About Retirement Implications.

You may need up to 80 percent of your pre-retirement income once you stop working. In other words, if your annual income was $80,000 when you were working, you will need up to $64,000 per year in order to maintain that same lifestyle when you stop working. What’s the alternative if you don’t have savings or a pension plan? You either must continue earning money or cut way back on your spending.

Women earn less on average over the course of a lifetime than men, and lower lifetime earnings make it harder for women to save for retirement. Unfortunately, women also have longer lifespans and higher health care costs. 

The bottom line: Is the financial industry set up to take care of these unique concerns? 

No. 

That’s why Purse Strings brings women to the table in only the way a women-run business can, with a focus on relationships, listening, understanding and encouragement.

You Can Reduce Your Risk in Both Areas and Live Your Best Life

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for people of most racial and ethnic groups in the United States, and now’s the time to do as much as you can to make heart-healthy decisions. 

Just don’t neglect making your best financial decisions possible as well, because women face major disadvantages on both counts — health and finances. Take the next step: Embark on an exercise plan, call your doctor, start a new, healthy diet today. 

Finally, join the membership at Purse Strings right away. Your best life is right around the corner. You don’t need to take the financial disadvantages that face women lying down — and frankly, we won’t let you! Don’t miss out on what we can offer you. Join Purse Strings and do what you can to make February the best month ever!

We will provide you useful and timely information you can use to be #financiallyfearless