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Power Up Your Finances

Financial confidence is empowers our lives.

How to Overcome Your Financial Fears

and Empower Your Future

By: Susie Ippolito

Finances are always a sticky subject. It is so easy to hide from the realities and tough choices that go along with retirement planning, writing our wills, and facing our fears when our lives go through inevitable change. On October 9, 2019, OneGroup will host Women in Investing, a panel discussion and networking event that will power up your finances.

This event promises to be a powerful discussion featuring Mary C. King, Esq, Trusts & Estates, Elder Law & Special Needs, and Family Business Succession Practices at Hancock Estabrook, LLP, Marquette Payton, Associate Retirement Director at Janus Henderson, and Grace B. Ghezzi, CPA/PFS/CFF, CFP®, CFE, AEP® Grace B. Ghezzi Consulting, LLC.

We were lucky enough to ask these powerhouse women a few questions about how we can become more engaged with our finances. As it turns out, awareness, knowledge, action, and professional help are the keys to financial empowerment.

Mary C. King, Esq.

Hancock Estabrook, LLP

Q. What is the most common misconception or biggest fear about planning out our estates, wills, and trusts?

A. One of the most common misconceptions that married people, in particular, have is that if one dies, all assets will pass to the surviving spouse, so why worry about having a Will?

In New York, that is not the case as only the first $50,000 in assets will go to the surviving spouse and then the balance is divided 50/50 between the spouse and children. The Will can ensure that all assets will pass to the surviving spouse.

In the event a person is unmarried, the Will directs that his or her assets will be distributed to the individuals specified. Otherwise, New York State Law will dictate how an individual’s assets will be distributed.

One of the most common fears I see time and again are concerns over who will care for minor children in the event both parents are deceased. The Will contains guardianship provisions for minor children and couples are forced to discuss who is best suited to care for their children. Unfortunately, because this is such a difficult decision, couples tend to “put it on the back burner” and then they do not move forward with their estate plan.

Q. What action do you wish all women would take to overcome these misconceptions or fears so that they can confidently plan for the future?

A. I think it is important for women to take ownership of those fears and move forward despite them. I have found that it is much easier to tackle in a step-by-step fashion. First, make an appointment with a trusted advisor to begin having these important discussions and asking the pertinent questions.

Accept the education that is being provided by the advisors and don’t be afraid to continue to ask questions until you feel you have an understanding of the planning options being presented.

At that point, the fear will dissipate and you will be able to move forward in confidence with making these decisions for your future.

Grace B. Ghezzi,


Grace B. Ghezzi Consulting, LLC

Q. What is the first thing women should consider in regards to their finances during a time of transition in their lives?

A. Assess your short-term cash flow situation. What are your bank and investment account balances? What are your debts and payment terms? What are your income sources, and what do you spend? Develop a plan to give you peace of mind financially, then take a deep breath and move forward with it.

Q. What action do you wish all women would take to improve their relationship with their finances?

A. Become involved and be aware of your finances. Assess your insurance, investment, income tax, retirement plan cash flow and estate plan. Save for retirement, create an emergency fund, and pay down debt. Work with a financial planning professional, or meet with professionals you have in place. Your insurance agent, investment advisor, CPA, and attorney are resources you should take advantage of.

Marquette Payton

Associate Retirement Director

Janus Henderson

Q. What surprises you most about women's relationship with their finances?

A. I think the biggest surprise is the amount of stress and lack of control that women feel when it comes to handling their finances regardless of income or age. This is particularly noteworthy considering that 90% of women will be solely responsible for the household finances at some point in their lives.

Q. What action do you wish all women would take to improve their relationship with their finances?


I think it is important for women to recognize that financial literacy is a skill that is built over time and that they don’t have to go at it alone. Having a financial professional to help her navigate what may feel like murky waters will empower her to have a more positive relationship with finances, which will help bring about feelings of control and alleviate stress.

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