Top Mistakes Women Make With Financial Planning

Kay Lynn Mayhue, President of Merit, lists some ways women might be getting in their own way when planning their financial future. She also talks about navigating the sometimes tricky process of asking for and receiving input from others regarding your finances.

You can listen to more of our conversation with Kay Lynn on our podcast, Work, Love, Pray! Listen below or click here to find your preferred listening platform.

What are some of the top mistakes women make when approaching financial planning? 

I’m going to break up my answer into a couple different categories. The first category has to do with the role that I think women are called to play, which is the protector and planner. Sometimes, those wonderful attributes will actually prevent us from taking leaps of faith and making big decisions like a career change or accepting a promotion. Those decisions play into your financial picture because they’re related to opportunity and work.

The second category is on the other end of the spectrum, involving a lack of planning and/or lack of attention. Many women are in a stage of life where there is a lot of balancing going on (raising children, caregiving for aging parents, leadership roles at work, etc.), so much of the time, there’s not a focus or priority on financial planning. We keep saying that financial planning is something that we’ll get to, and then all of a sudden you look up and you’re 50 years old and haven’t put any prioritization on planning.

Is it possible to get too much input when you’re going through the financial planning process? 

That’s a really good question. Yes, there absolutely is. You’re going to get conflicting information on almost anything you ask for help or input on. Think about buying a car. You’re going to go to multiple car dealerships and every dealership is going to tell you their brand and their cars are the best. With financial planning, you really need to decide what aligns most with your philosophy. It’s really hard to have multiple quarterbacks on a team. You really want to find one source of input that you can get behind. That doesn’t mean when you’re trying to find that “right fit” with a financial planner that you don’t talk to several different folks and organizations. But don’t get caught in analysis paralysis! After doing your homework, make your choice and move forward with your financial planning.

How can you work past not seeing eye-to-eye with your spouse while planning out your finances? 

At Merit, we’ve got a tool that I have found to be a really great diagnostic test. It’s a behavioral tool that takes different things into consideration like how much detail are you going to want during the process? Are you a risk taker? Are you conservative? Our tool takes all of the results and charts them beautifully. When you have conflict, it’s typically because you’re too different or you’re too similar, which sounds so funny. But if you have two people that really like to be in control, for example, and are constantly fighting for that control, there’s going to be some conflict that comes out of that. Awareness is one of the most valuable tools that you can give yourself in a marriage or any type of partnership, like a business partnership, for example. 

Kay Lynn has played many roles in the financial advisory industry: as a successor, partner, seller, and buyer. This unique and diverse background allows her to be able to relate to advisors in all phases of their careers and mergers and acquisitions. With a background in financial planning and leadership, her career expands over several areas, including advising clients, mergers and acquisitions, and strategic growth. 

Kay Lynn worked her way up from an entry-level position to earn her seat at the C-Suites table as President of Merit, which manages over 5 billion in RIA and Brokerage assets under management. She holds her CFP®, AEP®, and RFC® and has been a critical decision-maker for two firms over the past twenty years. Kay Lynn has overseen multiple mergers and acquisitions over the past four years and has been recognized for her position as a female leader in the financial services industry.

She is passionate about helping people take their careers – and themselves – to exceptional levels. Kay Lynn’s influence in the industry and her drive for success is a driving factor in Merit’s ongoing growth and appeal to growth-oriented advisors.