3 min readPublished On: July 8, 2024

Men’s Financial Health: Some Common Missteps

Pressure to Provide

Men often feel pressured to be the provider. They take on the responsibility for earning the money, buying things and managing investments to sustain their family, even after they’re gone. (By gone, we mean dead, not up and left because they couldn’t take it anymore.)

Juggling all this responsibility leaves men open to these common financial mistakes:

Cluttering their credit with expensive toys

Prior to taking on the responsibilities of raising a family, men are not always focused on saving money and building credit they’ll need for a house and other necessary purchases. 

“I see a lot of men’s credit reports filled with expensive toys,” says mortgage broker Ana Germeroth. “They don’t realize how that throws off their debt-to-income ratio, making it harder to get a mortgage on their first house.”  

Owning a new boat or motorcycle may be fun, but making the purchase on credit could postpone really important investments. Instead, save your money and pay cash for recreational items. Only use your credit for purchases you can pay off within a couple months or for investments like income property. 

Handling a financial portfolio but neglecting the rest of the estate

Saving for retirement is a long-term project most men spend their entire careers focusing on. They talk about investment products, read account statements and listen to stock tips to maximize their retirement nest egg. When it comes to retirement planning, however, they may forget to include their entire estate. 

“Making sure your home is titled properly and any long-term health care needs are covered are all part of estate planning,” explains Craig Chandler, CEO of Chandler Wealth Management.

Your estate includes your investments and cash, property, personal possessions and assets you have a controlling interest in. Your home and interests in your business may be significant portions of your estate. Planning for the bequest of all assets, payment of taxes and settlement of debts are important parts of estate planning. 

Not including a successor in the financial plans

A lot of men handle all the financial decisions without involving anyone in the family. That’s fine…as long as the system works. If something happens to the head of household, the spouse can be left in the dark about how to carry on financially. 

“It’s great when a man has the right investments to provide for his wife and family after his death, but he needs to let his wife in on the plan, so she knows what to do when he is no longer there to make the decisions,” Craig says. 

Craig recommends having a back-up plan in case you die before your wife. He says that working with a trusted financial advisor will make the transition smoother when your widow has to manage the estate, and it will give you peace of mind that you have all contingencies covered.

Spending retirement time worrying about the markets

You worked hard so you could retire comfortably and spend time with your family, pursue hobbies or travel. Unless you enjoy spending your days analyzing investments and your nights agonizing over market slumps, why fret over your investments after you retire? 

Many men spend their retirement years stressing over the markets, maybe because they did it for so long before they retired. Stress is not good for your health, and men often struggle to find healthy ways to deal with stress. A healthy solution for this type of stress is finding a financial advisor you trust and leaving the work up to him or her. 

About the Author: Christine Andola

Christine Andola
With a bachelor’s degree in communication from the State University of New York, College at New Paltz, in 1990 Christine embarked on a blind journey to building a career. She moved through teaching in the inner city public schools, reporting for a weekly newspaper, writing user manuals and technical documentation at a software company, lobbying and public relations at the state level for national associations and marketing for professional services firms. Christine’s writing portfolio includes everything from newspapers to grant proposals. She has developed web content, written blogs, ghost-written professional journal articles and drafted ad copy. From technical writing to lifestyle feature pieces, Christine lives by the value of words. She enjoys learning about the people around her and sharing information in a way that resonates with readers.

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