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Why Women Need to Talk About Money

Three reports from Bank of America track women’s financial journeys, their contributions to the economy—and the challenges they still face

WOMEN DON’T TALK ENOUGH about money. “We talk about a lot of stuff, in detail, but we don’t talk about money,” observes Lorna Sabbia, head of Retirement and Personal Wealth Solutions with Bank of America Merrill Lynch. She and several other women have come together on a panel to introduce three new reports exploring women’s economic impact and the role that money plays in women’s lives. Highlights of their wide-ranging conversation are captured in the video above.

“Having candid conversations about the wage gap, about the financial effects of career breaks, of women’s longer retirements and higher health care costs can help you prepare for these challenges.”—Lorna Sabbia, head of Retirement and Personal Wealth Solutions with Bank of America Merrill Lynch

Breaking that taboo about money—overcoming the reluctance to talk about it—could lead to more positive financial outcomes for women, according to one of the reports, Women & Financial Wellness: Beyond the Bottom Line, published by Merrill Lynch in partnership with Age Wave. “Having candid conversations about the wage gap, about the financial effects of career breaks, of women’s longer retirements and higher health care costs can help you prepare for these challenges,” notes Sabbia. “But women aren’t exactly sure how to start the conversation, and that needs to change,” says Maddy Dychtwald, a co-founder of Age Wave.

In addition to Women & Financial Wellness, the reports include Women’s Entrepreneurial Journeys, from U.S. Trust, featuring advice from eight successful business owners; and Women: The X-Factor, from BofA Merrill Lynch Global Research, examining women’s increasingly powerful role in the economy and corporate America. “Taken together, they provide a lot for women to talk about,” says Sabbia. They also offer tips and insights that can help women along the path to greater financial security.

Watch highlights from the panel discussion above. Then read the reports, and start your own conversation.

3 Questions to Ask Your Advisor

  1. Women’s health care costs tend to be higher than men’s, according to one of your reports. What strategies can I consider to help me prepare for them?
  2. How can I prepare financially to take a career break while my kids are young?
  3. What’s the right investment approach to help me cover my expenses during a long retirement?

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