ZOOMER Magazine

WOMEN&WEALTH

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AT A PIVOTAL MOMENT IN ECONOMIC HISTORY, INGRID MACINTOSH, VICE-PRESIDENT AT TD WEALTH AND EXECUTIVE SPONSOR OF THE TD WEALTH FOR WOMEN PROGRAM, TALKS ABOUT WOMEN, MONEY AND THE IMPORTANCE OF LOOKING AHEAD.

Many women have never-ending to-do lists running in their heads. These might include household tasks and medical appointmen­ts, but they often leave out planning for their financial future. “You might be able to defer a lot of things in life,” Ingrid Macintosh suggests. “But deferring your financial plan is dangerous to your financial health.”

By 2026, it’s estimated that women will hold more than half the personal wealth in Canada. At some point, nine in ten Canadian women will be the sole financial decision-makers for their families. Inheritanc­e, divorce or widowhood can all impact a woman’s financial picture, often suddenly.

Some women don’t feel prepared for these momentous shifts. “They’re intelligen­t, they’re educated, and they’re competent,” says Macintosh, a passionate advocate for helping women understand and engage with their finances. “But they perhaps haven't looked into long-term issues of savings and investment.”

“Systemical­ly, the financial journey is more difficult for women,” Macintosh points out. “Just in terms of building wealth, women tend to be out of the workforce for longer periods, between childcare and eldercare. They are more likely to be in part-time work without pensions. And we can’t forget the all-in earnings gap.” For these reasons, it’s even more important for women to build their financial literacy and develop a financial plan.

“At the same time, we have an industry that has not always been womanfrien­dly,” Macintosh explains. This history of being underserve­d and misunderst­ood by financial service institutio­ns can affect women’s financial confidence and preparedne­ss. “For women aged 45 to 55, only about 40% in that critical pre-retirement period said they have a written financial plan.” That’s why TD is working to create a connected, differenti­ated experience for women, with advisors trained to identify and address women’s financial concerns and challenges. TD’s Wealth for Women website also offers on-demand financial resources geared specifical­ly to women.

Often all it takes for women to feel more engaged and informed is that first conversati­on with a financial advisor who focuses on getting to know them and their individual needs. “When women are thinking about money management and building their financial knowledge, it's powerful," Macintosh states. And like any good investment, “it’s power that just compounds over time.”Once women feel informed and confident, they are often better than men at navigating market volatility and turbulent economic NO MATTER WHAT AMOUNT OF MONEY YOU HAVE OR HOW ‘LATE’ IN LIFE YOU’VE STARTED TO TAKE CHARGE OF YOUR FINANCES YOU JUST NEED TO START - INGRID MACINTOSH, VICE-PRESIDENT AT TD WEALTH AND EXECUTIVE SPONSOR OF THE TD WEALTH FOR WOMEN PROGRAM conditions, she points out. Macintosh rejects the common trope that women are “risk averse.” In her experience, women are “risk aware,” preferring to make educated decisions.

The belief that “there’s not enough time, not enough knowledge or not enough money can trip people up,” Macintosh acknowledg­es. That’s why TD Wealth is ready to meet women wherever they are in their financial journey, with experience, knowledge, resources and advice. As Macintosh says, “No matter what amount of money you have or how ‘late’ in life you’ve started to take charge of your finances, you just need to start. Your future self will thank you.”

MANAGEMENT

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