In Focus: Tax  

How to talk tax with female clients

How to talk tax with female clients

Advising clients during a pandemic has presented various challenges and opportunities for advisers. 

While in-person meetings have effectively been banned, the rise of technology-based solutions has enabled advisers to reach clients regardless of lockdown restrictions.

Amid all this, Succession Wealth is one firm that says it has seen more women emerging with specific financial planning needs.

While many women have been juggling caring responsibilities and full-time work over the past year, they have also been more keen than ever to be engaged and focus on their savings and investments, according to Michelle Crowley, wealth planner at Succession Wealth.

FTAdviser In Focus caught up with Crowley during the month the world celebrated International Women's Day to ask what advisers can do to motivate more women to get to grips with their finances, as well as to reach more clients in this group. 

FTAdviser: How can we get more women to engage with their finances?

Michelle Crowley: It is a case of keeping the message out there, through social media, through articles, giving people the opportunity to understand what they're missing out on.

Most of us go on through life without understanding or knowing that we are missing out on important financial information.

FTA: Do you think younger women are more engaged now than their older peers?

MC: Definitely; at the early stages of women's careers, I find that they are far more in control of their finances. They are conscious of what they want to save for, such as putting down a deposit for a first home.

However, they also tend to be on lower salaries and not putting enough aside into their pension.

But when they progress and start earning more and setting more aside, they tend to then get married and have children, so the savings get put on hold.

When that happens, I find that one person in the household tends to take more control of the finances, and that tends traditionally to be the father. 

This isn't a bad thing, but because the men are [often] the ones working full-time and contributing possibly more to the household finances, then financial planning tends to skew towards the man's financial planning needs.

Women need to remember that they ought to keep focusing on their own financial futures, on their pensions and [if they have been out of the workforce] buying back national insurance contributions, for example. It's about balance.

FTA: What other kind of practical steps can a woman take, even if she is taking time out from full-time work to raise a family?

MC: Making sure that contributions are being made, focusing on protection, making sure your NI is up to date - being aware of all these things and more is very important. Mothers need to stay on top of their finances, even if they are taking a break to bring up children or take on caring responsibilities.