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Financial intent

Women are living longer and earning more

A critical mass of women-both married and single-controls a greater share of the nation's wealth. Women are assuming more powerful roles in their family's financial decision-making and in business.

According to Pax World Investments, women control more than 48 percent of estates worth more than $5 million. "Women & Wealth" found that the wealth owned by women is projected to grow by 8 percent annually from the end of 2009 through 2014. And according to a Prudential study, 95 percent of women identify themselves as the primary financial decision-maker of the household.

Yet many women experience fear and intimidation around money. Many women are fearful about their financial future. Issues we may have with money do not go away. They can get worse. But working with money issues is like having a clean house-if you do a little bit at a time, it will not be as overwhelming. If you clean or organize your house on a daily basis, then your stuff doesn't just pile up.

Money fears can be overcome by facing them head on. First, assess your situation. Then set goals. And write your bucket list.

Personally, my life dramatically changed two years ago and I vowed to not live another day unhappy. I wrote my bucket list and I try to cross off one thing every month. I have gone sky diving, rappelled down a building, ran a 5K, swam with sharks, drove a race car and more. Having a bucket list keeps you focused on what is important in life. You can live life with intention with your money and without fear.
Financial planning is a continuous process. Look at the "what ifs" in your life so that you can be better prepared and not fearful. Ask yourself what would happen in these kinds of life-changing situations:
1. What if I lose my job?
2. What if my spouse dies?
3. What if I get a divorce?
4. What if I die?
5. What if I get pregnant?
6. What if my parents die?

It is time, with the new year, to set the intention to live consciously with our money and with happiness. We need to face the future with optimism and confidence and figure out the answers to the "what ifs" of life.

Nicole N. Middendorf is a Financial Advisor and Certified Divorce Financial Analyst with Prosperwell Financial. Securities offered through LPL Financial. Member FINRA/SIPC. www.prosperwell.com

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