Free custom financial strategy from financial advisor

A tax efficient financial plan will keep more of your money to last forever based on retirement and health threats. Email Connie Dello Buono , motherhealth@gmail.com , to have a free 30min chat with a financial advisor and receive a free custom financial strategy. Call 408-854-1883 to be scheduled this October before the end of 2014 to have a financial plan that is custom made to save your current savings and investments to protect the future.

I work with financial advisors, investment specialist, estate planners, CPA, insurance agents and other experts for a strategic financial plan and  tools that will help you mitigate risks.

Do not use your house as your retirement plan. We helped doctors and health care providers save on taxes, business owners reduce expenses and engineers/professionals retire comfortably.

Are you a helper, I need you

If you sits in one or more board of directors in a non-profit or other organization, I need you. I need a helper to refer me to people who needs professional financial advise from team of experts. You might be a teacher, firefighter, policemen,nurses,clergy,volunteers,social workers, and just a philantrophist who can can make a difference in people’s lives.

In your heart, you feel good helping a new business owner, a single mother, a start up enterprenuer, or a professional who needs your expertise. You can help me be part of my center of influence. You are God send for you can help me refer me to others who needs to organize their finances.

I help business owners minimize taxes and expenses. I help professionals minimize taxes, reallocate assets, and ensure that their savings and investments can last forever.

Please email me if you want to be an important helper in my life and business at 408-854-1883 motherhealth@gmail.com

Asset Protection Introduction For Small Business Owners

This article is intended for every small business owner/entrepreneur who left behind Corporate America for the opportunity and dream of starting their own business.

This entrepreneurial spirit is what made this country what it is today.  However, this dream could be shattered very quickly without taking into consideration adequate asset protection plan.  The notes below were prepared by a lawyer in Florida.


Before we can continue, we need to define what asset protection is.  In very simple terms asset protection is the protection of assets from creditors.  In fact asset protection is part of a bigger concept of risk management.  Risk management is planning that seeks to protect business owners from potential future losses (i.e., avoid liability).  Unfortunately today most small business owners are not structuring or operating their businesses to avoid liability.  Thus, the primary goal of asset protection is to allow business owners to protect themselves from creditors’ claims while retaining a substantial, if not all, portion of their assets.

This article will briefly discuss four different areas of asset protection: (1) – protection from personal and business creditors; (2) – the most common corporate entities for protection: (3) – the operational and holding entities concept; and (4) –  exempt personal assets in Florida.

Please remember that in no way should asset protection planning ever aid in protecting criminal activity.  Asset protection involves implementing a plan to legally protect wealth.  Please also note the use of asset protection planning is subject to the Uniform Fraudulent Transfer Act that was incorporated in Chapter 726 of the Florida Statutes and other states rules that are applicable.  It is important that you seek the assistance of an attorney before seeking any kind of asset protection plan.

Separating your personal creditors from your business creditors.  It is very important that you separate your personal creditors from your business creditors.  Personal creditors are creditors for which you are “personally” responsible for, whether from a debt or a judgment.  This means you will need to satisfy any debt or judgment with your personal assets rather than business assets.  On the other hand, business creditors are creditors for which your “business entity” is responsible for, whether from a debt or a judgment.  Thus, assets placed within the business entity are vulnerable to the business creditors, but protected, for the most part, from the owner’s personal creditors.  Likewise, assets kept outside of the business entity are vulnerable to the owner’s personal creditors, but protected from the business’ creditors.

The majority of small business owners mistakenly believe that assets within a business entity are not subject to any type of liability.  However, remember that your business entity, if a corporation or a Limited Liability Company is a separate “legal person” from you and is subject to liability from vendors, clients, employees and others.  Likewise, assets within your corporate entity are only shielded from liability from your personal creditors.  Regardless of this limited protection it is important that you at least separate these two kinds of creditors.  It is important that as a small business owner you conduct business as a separate business entity.  It is equally important that you follow all the business entity formalities and avoid commingling funds.  If you conduct business as a separate business entity, in a correct and formal matter, then you can achieve the first level of asset protection which is the separation of your personal from business creditors.  You could significantly reduce the pool of assets available to creditors when you separate your personal from business creditors.

Choosing the proper business entity.  There are various possible business entities options for your small business.  However, most small business owners should opt to form the business as a Limited Liability Company (“LLC”) or a Corporation (either a “C” or an “S” Corporation).  The reason is very simple, for most small business owners the LLC or Corporation offer far superior liability protection than other business entities such as partnerships or sole proprietorships.  Yet, the LLC and Corporation are different from each other.

Both the LLC and Corporation offer limited liability protection for the owners.  However, usually the LLC, rather than the Corporation, is a better option for the small business owner.  This is because the statute that governs the operation of Corporations is more complex and burdensome than what is imposed to LLC when it comes to “corporate formalities”.  The rules regarding directors, officers, meetings, etc. are stricter for Corporations than for LLCs.  These stricter rules are really detrimental to small business owners that are preoccupied trying to run a successful business and basically performing as a “jack of all trades”.  Please note that the failure to comply with the applicable formalities could allow a court to “pierce the corporate veil”.  Thus, from an asset protection point of view the small business owners will most likely form an LLC rather than a Corporation because of the less stricter “corporate formalities” that LLCs offer.  A court will then be less willing to “pierce the corporate veil” and exposing the small business owners to unlimited liability for personal and business creditors with a Limited Liability Company.  In addition, you will see below how useful an LLC is in more complex asset protection structures.

But please remember that asset protection planning is just one area of your overall risk and business strategy.  There are other areas where a corporate structure is more beneficial than an LLC structure.  Thus, it is important to consult with an attorney first before deciding what type of business entity to create.  An attorney will let you know the pros and cons of each business entity and the consequences of switching from one business entity to another.

Separating Operating and Holding Entities.  We have discussed so far that it is important to separate your personal and business creditors.  You can do that by creating the appropriate business entity and following the appropriate formalities.  In addition, we discussed that for the most part a Limited Liability Company will be the entity of choice for small business owners.  However, you should consult with an attorney before creating an LLC or converting your current business entity to an LLC because of all the other ramifications (i.e., tax, etc) besides asset protection that are important to every small business owner.

Now we will discuss a more complex asset protection structure, including the creation of operating and holding entities.  Again, we discussed so far that assets placed within the businesses entity are vulnerable to the business creditors, but protected, for the most part, from the owner’s personal creditors.  In addition, assets kept outside of the business entity are vulnerable to the owner’s personal creditors, but protected from the business’s creditors.  So, can we further isolate creditors from our business entity?  The answer is yes, with the proper funding and structuring of the business.

You accomplish this by creating an operating entity, which has possession of the assets, but does not own the assets (unless encumbered in favor of the holding entity), and a holding entity, which actually owns the business’ assets.  With this structure, the small business owner can eliminate, or at the very least substantially limit, liability for both the personal and business debts.

In summary, the operating entity conducts all of the business’s activities and, thus, bears all the risk of loss.  The operating entity liability is limited because the operating entity contains a limited amount of assets.  The holding entity holds the majority of the assets but it is not responsible for the operating entity’s debts.  This strategy is more effective when done with LLCs rather with Corporations or other business entities because of the “charging orders” limitations in Florida.

The holding entity is where the majority of the assets of the business are located.  But because the holding company conducts no business activities, it has almost no exposure to liability, and therefore these assets are protected.  Thus, the business most valuable assets should be owned by the holding entity who then leases these assets (i.e., warehouse, equipment, etc) to the operating company, who then provides a way of taking vulnerable cash out of the operating entity in the form of lease payments.  In addition, the holding entity can loan money to the operating entity to buy assets, after which it would secure the loan with liens that run to the holding entity.  This strategy is even more important when assets carry an especially high risk of injury.

When done properly this structure could help in isolating creditors.  However, it very important that the proper formalities and structure are followed to avoid successful court challenges.  Again, you should consult with an attorney to avoid the pitfalls of improper structure.

Exempt Assets.  A good rule of thumb is to never, whenever possible, transfer exempt assets to a business entity.  This is because exempted property is considered unreachable by your creditors.  However, asset exemptions are available only to “natural persons” and not to business entities.  Thus, these assets inside a business entity are fully subject to the claims of business creditors.

Every state has a list of exempt assets.  For example, Florida has over thirty (30) separate exemptions.  The most popular being the homestead exemption.  The Florida Constitution provides that the homestead of a natural person is exempt from a forced sale or seizure by a creditor.  In order to qualify for the homestead exemption, the property, located in Florida, must serve as a residence of the owner or his family.  There are some rules that you should consider in relation to size, liens and bankruptcy law but for the most part this is the general rules for homestead property in Florida.

As a general rule, in states like Florida where the homestead is “unlimited”, ideally, you should pay-off your mortgages and other liens secured by the property.  You should do this because the cash used, non-exempt for asset protection purposes, to make the payments will be converted to exempt property by reducing the mortgages and liens encumbering the homestead.

For example, assume John Doe, a Florida resident, owns a home in Florida worth $400,000 that is subject to a $250,000 mortgage.  John’s homestead protection of $400,000 is ineffective against the $250,000 mortgage.  A mortagee can foreclose your homestead to collect the unpaid mortgage.  Now, let assume John Doe has $250,000 in cash.  Cash is a non-exempt asset and is subject to your creditors.  If John Doe can afford paying off the $250,000 mortgage with the cash he will effectively convert a non-exempt asset (cash) to an exempt asset.  First, John eliminates the $250,000 encumbrance in the homestead.  Second, the cash ($250,000) is now unavailable to his creditors.

Effective Asset Protection.  Asset protection planning is meant for the worst-case scenario.  It is important that as a small business owner you take asset protection seriously.  small business owners lack the unlimited resources of big corporations and even the smallest of the judgment could wreck the dreams and limited resources of the small business owner.

It is important also that your asset protection plan offers flexibility.  Most asset protection plans are meant to last for a long time.  Inevitably changes in the law and your factual situation (i.e., divorce) will occur.  Also, in developing an asset protection strategy there should be an answer for “What if this happens?” and “How my plan protects me against X or Y?”

The final goal of asset protection planning is cost efficiency.  We only discussed the tip of the iceberg is asset protection planning.  There are more complex plans that are beyond the scope of this article (i.e., offshore trust, etc).  A cost effective plan will increase the possibility of a well maintained plan that would translate in a more effective plan.

Finally, you should have your asset protection plan in advance of any legal difficulty.  The poorest candidate for planning is the small business owner in the midst of a crisis.  Even here, however, steps can be taken, albeit cautiously, to protect assets.  It is very important in situation like this one you should seek the advice of an attorney.

This is a four parts article and it is intended for every small business owner/entrepreneur who left behind Corporate America for the opportunity and dream of starting their own business.  This entrepreneurial spirit is what made this country what it is today.  However, this dream could be shattered very quickly without taking into consideration adequate asset protection plan.

Before we can continue, we need to define what asset protection is.  In very simple terms asset protection is the protection of assets from creditors.  In fact asset protection is part of a bigger concept of risk management.  Risk management is planning that seeks to protect business owners from potential future losses (i.e., avoid liability).  Unfortunately today most small business owners are not structuring or operating their businesses to avoid liability.  Thus, the primary goal of asset protection is to allow business owners to protect themselves from creditors’ claims while retaining a substantial, if not all, portion of their assets.

This article will briefly discuss four different areas of asset protection: (1) – protection from personal and business creditors; (2) – the most common corporate entities for protection: (3) – the operational and holding entities concept; and (4) –  exempt personal assets in Florida.

Please remember that in no way should asset protection planning ever aid in protecting criminal activity.  Asset protection involves implementing a plan to legally protect wealth.  Please also note the use of asset protection planning is subject to the Uniform Fraudulent Transfer Act that was incorporated in Chapter 726 of the Florida Statutes.  It is important that you seek the assistance of an attorney before seeking any kind of asset protection plan.

Separating your personal creditors from your business creditors.  It is very important that you separate your personal creditors from your business creditors.  Personal creditors are creditors for which you are “personally” responsible for, whether from a debt or a judgment.  This means you will need to satisfy any debt or judgment with your personal assets rather than business assets.  On the other hand, business creditors are creditors for which your “business entity” is responsible for, whether from a debt or a judgment.  Thus, assets placed within the business entity are vulnerable to the business creditors, but protected, for the most part, from the owner’s personal creditors.  Likewise, assets kept outside of the business entity are vulnerable to the owner’s personal creditors, but protected from the business’ creditors.

The majority of small business owners mistakenly believe that assets within a business entity are not subject to any type of liability.  However, remember that your business entity, if a corporation or a Limited Liability Company is a separate “legal person” from you and is subject to liability from vendors, clients, employees and others.  Likewise, assets within your corporate entity are only shielded from liability from your personal creditors.  Regardless of this limited protection it is important that you at least separate these two kinds of creditors.  It is important that as a small business owner you conduct business as a separate business entity.  It is equally important that you follow all the business entity formalities and avoid commingling funds.  If you conduct business as a separate business entity, in a correct and formal matter, then you can achieve the first level of asset protection which is the separation of your personal from business creditors.  You could significantly reduce the pool of assets available to creditors when you separate your personal from business creditors.

Choosing the proper business entity.  There are various possible business entities options for your small business.  However, most small business owners should opt to form the business as a Limited Liability Company (“LLC”) or a Corporation (either a “C” or an “S” Corporation).  The reason is very simple, for most small business owners the LLC or Corporation offer far superior liability protection than other business entities such as partnerships or sole proprietorships.  Yet, the LLC and Corporation are different from each other.

Both the LLC and Corporation offer limited liability protection for the owners.  However, usually the LLC, rather than the Corporation, is a better option for the small business owner.  This is because the statute that governs the operation of Corporations is more complex and burdensome than what is imposed to LLC when it comes to “corporate formalities”.  The rules regarding directors, officers, meetings, etc. are stricter for Corporations than for LLCs.  These stricter rules are really detrimental to small business owners that are preoccupied trying to run a successful business and basically performing as a “jack of all trades”.  Please note that the failure to comply with the applicable formalities could allow a court to “pierce the corporate veil”.  Thus, from an asset protection point of view the small business owners will most likely form an LLC rather than a Corporation because of the less stricter “corporate formalities” that LLCs offer.  A court will then be less willing to “pierce the corporate veil” and exposing the small business owners to unlimited liability for personal and business creditors with a Limited Liability Company.  In addition, you will see below how useful an LLC is in more complex asset protection structures.

But please remember that asset protection planning is just one area of your overall risk and business strategy.  There are other areas where a corporate structure is more beneficial than an LLC structure.  Thus, it is important to consult with an attorney first before deciding what type of business entity to create.  An attorney will let you know the pros and cons of each business entity and the consequences of switching from one business entity to another.  

Separating Operating and Holding Entities.  We have discussed so far that it is important to separate your personal and business creditors.  You can do that by creating the appropriate business entity and following the appropriate formalities.  In addition, we discussed that for the most part a Limited Liability Company will be the entity of choice for small business owners.  However, you should consult with an attorney before creating an LLC or converting your current business entity to an LLC because of all the other ramifications (i.e., tax, etc) besides asset protection that are important to every small business owner.

Now we will discuss a more complex asset protection structure, including the creation of operating and holding entities.  Again, we discussed so far that assets placed within the businesses entity are vulnerable to the business creditors, but protected, for the most part, from the owner’s personal creditors.  In addition, assets kept outside of the business entity are vulnerable to the owner’s personal creditors, but protected from the business’s creditors.  So, can we further isolate creditors from our business entity?  The answer is yes, with the proper funding and structuring of the business.

You accomplish this by creating an operating entity, which has possession of the assets, but does not own the assets (unless encumbered in favor of the holding entity), and a holding entity, which actually owns the business’ assets.  With this structure, the small business owner can eliminate, or at the very least substantially limit, liability for both the personal and business debts.

In summary, the operating entity conducts all of the business’s activities and, thus, bears all the risk of loss.  The operating entity liability is limited because the operating entity contains a limited amount of assets.  The holding entity holds the majority of the assets but it is not responsible for the operating entity’s debts.  This strategy is more effective when done with LLCs rather with Corporations or other business entities because of the “charging orders” limitations in Florida.

The holding entity is where the majority of the assets of the business are located.  But because the holding company conducts no business activities, it has almost no exposure to liability, and therefore these assets are protected.  Thus, the business most valuable assets should be owned by the holding entity who then leases these assets (i.e., warehouse, equipment, etc) to the operating company, who then provides a way of taking vulnerable cash out of the operating entity in the form of lease payments.  In addition, the holding entity can loan money to the operating entity to buy assets, after which it would secure the loan with liens that run to the holding entity.  This strategy is even more important when assets carry an especially high risk of injury.

When done properly this structure could help in isolating creditors.  However, it very important that the proper formalities and structure are followed to avoid successful court challenges.  Again, you should consult with an attorney to avoid the pitfalls of improper structure.

Exempt Assets.  A good rule of thumb is to never, whenever possible, transfer exempt assets to a business entity.  This is because exempted property is considered unreachable by your creditors.  However, asset exemptions are available only to “natural persons” and not to business entities.  Thus, these assets inside a business entity are fully subject to the claims of business creditors.

Every state has a list of exempt assets.  For example, Florida has over thirty (30) separate exemptions.  The most popular being the homestead exemption.  The Florida Constitution provides that the homestead of a natural person is exempt from a forced sale or seizure by a creditor.  In order to qualify for the homestead exemption, the property, located in Florida, must serve as a residence of the owner or his family.  There are some rules that you should consider in relation to size, liens and bankruptcy law but for the most part this is the general rules for homestead property in Florida.

As a general rule, in states like Florida where the homestead is “unlimited”, ideally, you should pay-off your mortgages and other liens secured by the property.  You should do this because the cash used, non-exempt for asset protection purposes, to make the payments will be converted to exempt property by reducing the mortgages and liens encumbering the homestead.

For example, assume John Doe, a Florida resident, owns a home in Florida worth $400,000 that is subject to a $250,000 mortgage.  John’s homestead protection of $400,000 is ineffective against the $250,000 mortgage.  A mortagee can foreclose your homestead to collect the unpaid mortgage.  Now, let assume John Doe has $250,000 in cash.  Cash is a non-exempt asset and is subject to your creditors.  If John Doe can afford paying off the $250,000 mortgage with the cash he will effectively convert a non-exempt asset (cash) to an exempt asset.  First, John eliminates the $250,000 encumbrance in the homestead.  Second, the cash ($250,000) is now unavailable to his creditors.

Effective Asset Protection.  Asset protection planning is meant for the worst-case scenario.  It is important that as a small business owner you take asset protection seriously.  small business owners lack the unlimited resources of big corporations and even the smallest of the judgment could wreck the dreams and limited resources of the small business owner.

It is important also that your asset protection plan offers flexibility.  Most asset protection plans are meant to last for a long time.  Inevitably changes in the law and your factual situation (i.e., divorce) will occur.  Also, in developing an asset protection strategy there should be an answer for “What if this happens?” and “How my plan protects me against X or Y?”

The final goal of asset protection planning is cost efficiency.  We only discussed the tip of the iceberg is asset protection planning.  There are more complex plans that are beyond the scope of this article (i.e., offshore trust, etc).  A cost effective plan will increase the possibility of a well maintained plan that would translate in a more effective plan.

Finally, you should have your asset protection plan in advance of any legal difficulty.  The poorest candidate for planning is the small business owner in the midst of a crisis.  Even here, however, steps can be taken, albeit cautiously, to protect assets.  It is very important in situation like this one you should seek the advice of an attorney.

Call Connie Dello Buono for financial advisors and other experts 408-854-1883 motherhealth@gmail.com CA Life Lic 0G60621 for financial strategies, financial tools, opening exempt assets, risk protection and tax efficient ways of financial plan to serve your current and future finance needs. I work with team of estate planners, CPA, lawyers and insurance agents.

Financial strategy keeps business owners in the black

Now that I am working with a team of financial advisors and experts, I learn more each day. Financial strategies can keep a business with less expenses, adding more money in their pocket and doctors with less income taxes. Financial strategies can help a new home owner be at peace with the mortgage. For the self employed and enterpreneurs, financial strategies can help their money work harder for them with guaranteed returns and liquidity.

There are many ways we can leverage time and money. Surround yourself with successful people and financial advisors to save your from loses and taxes.  Reducing taxes should be number one in our goal.

Contact Connie Dello Buono to have a 30min chat with a financial advisor at 408-854-1883 and email at motherhealth@gmail.com 

Mike, my mortgage broker sends me this email letter today:

The Real Estate and Mortgage world continues healthy. Yet a few interesting statistics will help underscorethis month’s Good, Bad and Ugly. Of particular interest, is the current trend in interest rates and what is called, money supply.

Worldwide: As our Federal Reserves plans on reducing its printing of money, China talks of easing its money supply while the EU is expected to follow suit. One wonders if there is a growing fear ofdeflation in the short-run.

US: Federal Reserve policy of printing money has kept rates low these last four years. And with China and the EU considering adding more money, rates could likely remain low and stable. This may help prevent a stall in the growth of investment credit. Add to this the lowest wage growth in 50 years, and one knows the ‘why’ behind the recent nation-wide slow down in new home growth.

Local: Though job growth shows signs of slowing, income growth over the last few years remainsincreasingly higher for the Bay-area economy. We remain unique.

Now onto the Good, the Bad and the Ugly:

THE GOOD: Our interest rates and pace of lending remains the bright star this month. Even better, money availability is improving with more and more people able to quality. If you have been waiting, wait no more as credit fears are easing and low down payments are back.

The challenge is rising demand may cause a jump in the affordability index. Good news and bad.

THE BAD: Real inflation (food, energy, insurance, etc.) is essentially doubling every 6 to 8 years, with family income barely keeping pace. Lending is no longer the restrictive factor as we have enjoyed thesignificant savings of far lower interest rates. Yet the knowledge of our cost to get out of bed and go to work,can be frustrating. We need to encourage strong jobs growth, a jump in small business activity, along with the business freedom to be inventive and innovative.

However, let us not forget that for many on fixed income, low interest rates hurt them financially. Such is sad for those who believe in the discipline of saving. Unfortunately many lack the financial planning skills toplot a more diversified approach to meeting their needs. I would love to help.

THE UGLY: PG&E was fined $1.4 Billion for the Belmont gas explosion, findings of over 23,000 errors! Irresponsible? Yes. Yet one must wonders who will actually pay the fine and the money needed to fix decades of oversight? Can you say higher rates are coming? With this, one must wonder: Do leaders at PG&E get fired? Are those with oversight at the PUC and those in Sacramento charged with the job, going to be fired? My answer: They should be. Why? “Gross Negligence of Duty.”

Free 30-min chat with a financial advisor 408-854-1883

Call Connie Dello Buono to schedule you to one of the many financial advisors who can listen to your financial goals for 30-min at 408-854-1883 and email motherhealth@gmail.com. And then when you know that you need a financial strategy, another 40min free introduction to the financial strategy will be scheduled.

There is the listening to your emotions as you decide and plan for your finances in the future. Do talk to a financial advisor before you decide on a big move or big purchase since your income that should last forever will be affected by it.

Do not use your home as your only retirement plan. Have diversification.

Save and invest like a woman. But do not spend like her.

Live life with protection for the future so that your lifestyle will last as long as you live.

Do downsize if you can, keep up new skills, open an online business for less, leverage your time and money. Money helps create happy memories. Spend wisely.

4 Ways Men and Women Approach Finance Differently by Maria Cornelius

Anyone familiar with John Gray’s Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus knows the premise that men and women communicate very differently. Perhaps this explains why most female investors prefer to work with a female adviser and most married women leave a male adviser after the husband dies. Starting with the first conversation, women want, need and deserve distinct treatment in financial advice.

Old-fashioned gender roles designate the man of the house as responsible for personal finances. That changed over the past few decades but, if you’re a woman, your adviser must understand the role money played in your early life. Another concern: Women constitute more than half of financial planning or investment clients, yet less than a quarter of certified financial planners are women.

As a wealth manager with a large female client base, I notice four differences in how men and women approach financial decisions:

Communication and learning styles. Eleanor Blayney’s Women’s Worth: Finding Your Financial Confidence points out that women and men absorb and process information differently. Fundamentally, women learn through interaction with others, neurologically wired to be social and seek out relationships.

Especially if you’re a woman, find an adviser you connect with on a personal level. Talking openly about what matters most to you helps your adviser create a plan to prioritize and achieve your financial goals.

I also find that even highly accomplished and intelligent women (with expertise outside finance) can feel uneasy amid complex projections and financial jargon. Most prefer an adviser who can find a way to communicate in plain English.

While male clients may be more interested in charts and graphs that illustrate a point, women may take to an adviser who can connect financial advice with real-life examples. Competitive terms possibly motivating to men, such as “beating the market,” may not persuade women as deeply.

Confidence. Although this is shifting slowly, women’s greatest financial challenge remains lack of confidence in decision-making. The 2013-14 Financial Experience and Behaviors Among Women Prudential Financial survey, for instance, finds that “while women are taking control of household finances, they are no more prepared to meet long-term financial goals than they were a decade ago.”

The previous year’s survey also found only 23% of female breadwinners describing themselves as “very well prepared” to make financial decisions (compared with 45% of male counterparts) and that women are twice as likely to describe themselves as financial beginners (15% of women, 7% of men).

Due to this lack of confidence or experience in financial matters, many women want education from an adviser — and asking professional advice from a man may actually intimidate them.

Risk. Women’s generally lower tolerance to financial risk often reflects this lack of confidence. Many women lean toward more-conservative investing since greater risk might lead to failure. Women are also more likely to view money in terms of security.

I see this in female clients holding large amounts of cash in money markets or bank accounts. Although intuitively they know that in the long run investing is far more beneficial, fear of making a bad decision and losing the money influences them more. Find an adviser to explain the effects of not keeping up with inflation and that you can invest conservatively for long-term goals in many ways.

Life expectancy. Conservative investing isn’t bad, but if you take too little risk early you may barely keep up with inflation and won’t accumulate as much over your lifetime — which will likely be longer than a man’s. Research shows that in the U.S. women live, on average, almost five years longer than men; more than 975,000 American women are widowed annually, according to the latest U.S. Census data. Widows are also more likely than widowers to suffer a drop in income after the death of a spouse; almost half (more than 48%) of poor elderly in the U.S. are widows. (Women are also more likely than men to take career breaks or work part time for a variety of reasons.)

Median age for new widowhood is 59, which, combined with a high divorce rate, means that most women bear sole responsibility for finances at some point.

Identifying an adviser who wants to do more than just manage your investment, one who listens to and understands your goals and priorities, educates you on important concepts and encourages you to ask questions can lead you to a greater security and focus on your own long-term goals.

Tip: Your advisor should love gardening. Invest like a girl. Talk your financial emotion with your financial advisor. Learn from the mistakes of your parents. Do not use your house as your retirement plan. Contact Connie Dello Buono for a team of financial advisors, and other experts. 408-854-1883 motherhealth@gmail.com CA Life Lic 0G60621 in 50 US states.