Financial Literacy

Bridging the Wage Gap

In 2020, women made only $0.81 for every dollar men made, according to, widely regarded as the world’s most advanced compensation platform. Increasingly, that wage gap – and particularly its potential cumulative effect – can have profound impact in financial planning.

Divorcing women, especially, face some major challenges in terms of retirement planning. And that’s why it’s an area of specialty for Angie Hall, CDFA®, and founder of North Carolina-based Ancora Wealth Partners.

Hall head“When you have two spouses that are equal in education and training, the male is typically paid more than the female,” Hall said in a recent interview with Advisors Magazine. “And when you have a marriage that’s dissolving or broken up, typically the woman in that relationship has earned less which can mean lower savings in retirement plans.”

Hall also noted that, historically – and especially in modest or single-income families – the woman is the one who stays home with the children. When that happens, she loses years of experience in the workforce, misses out on the annual salary increases that ongoing employment can deliver, as well as opportunities afforded by a company’s 401 (k) plan or similar retirement benefits.

“These can all lead to lower savings for the individual,” Hall said.

She added that women also tend to have less formal education when it comes to financial literacy, and in most relationships, they usually rely on the spouse for such matters.

“Another issue is women live longer,” Hall emphasized. “Therefore, the planning needs are different than for men. If a woman is living anywhere from five to ten years longer than her spouse then we have to account for that in the financial planning. And if the other elements come into play – that she has saved less, has been making less – then it’s going to take more to cover those years in retirement.”

Hall shared that she has some personal experience in divorce, which is one of the reasons she pursued her Certified Divorce Financial Analyst designation.

“A person’s financial landscape in normal circumstances is constantly changing, so when you add the divorce and all the other factors for women,” she explained, “it’s not only emotional going through the divorce process, but it can really complicate the financial process.”

Hall noted that alimony and the way child support works are also constantly changing with the tax laws. “It’s just the political nature of things,” she adds, “and when that happens then the planning process needs to evolve and consider those changes as well.”

Similar to an attorney who maintains client confidentiality, Hall will not usually advise both spouses on their financial matters in a divorce situation. “I’m not against helping a couple that’s willing to work to sort out things, but it’s easier to deal with one side versus the other,” she said.

Financial analysis for those affected by divorce is not Hall’s only specialty. Her niche is working on behalf of many law enforcement and state employees. Such families, she observes, present unique planning opportunities in light of the benefits they typically receive. Hall said such clients appreciate the knowledge and financial literacy she provides because it can help them retire successfully from very demanding careers. In addition to working with such families and individual women, Hall also has a good number of clients from the fields of agricultural and utilities.

Hall started in the industry in 1999 as an assistant to three stock brokers, a time when the business was more focused on trading and not financial planning aspects. She received her undergraduate degree while working full time in the industry. Also, during this time period, she obtained her series 7 and series 65 license. She moved on from being a registered client associate after a few years to a position as a operations branch manager where she learned the compliance side of the business.

Team hallBy 2016, Hall establish an independent branch of Raymond James Financial Services and recently rebranded that practice. “Ancora Wealth Partners was formed and this allowed me to focus more on the planning side for clients and creating that holistic way of doing business,” she said.

Hall describes herself as a strong believer that everyone needs to start somewhere. As such, she does not require a minimum investment. “If you help people attain and reach their goals from whatever starting point, then they will become lifelong clients and lifelong friends,” she said.

Toward that end, Hall uses a planning model that she created, which focuses on the holistic aspects of financial planning.

Once Hall and a prospective client agree to work together, the meetings and conversations start. “I gather information about what their desires are, what their goals are and how their finances look,” she explained. “I then take that information, analyze it and create a strategy that best fits their scenario and from that develop a recommendation.”

The recommendation might be for Hall to manage client assets and how best to do that, or provide insurance products that give a client guaranteed income, or life insurance for legacy planning. The recommendation might cover risk management, while also considering a long-term care component that can protect assets – or all of the above and more.

“Once we agree on how that fits and helps them meet their goals and objectives, we put the plan into action,” Hall said. “And then after we put the plan into action, I let my client know that it is an evolving process. So, just as life changes, your planning needs change.” The plan is reviewed annually, and at least biannually, the management of assets is reviewed.

Hall acknowledges that the majority of Americans, as shown from recent studies, cannot pass a basic financial literacy test. To offset that, she is on a financial literacy mission in Burlington, North Carolina, and surrounding communities.

retirement women“I created a financial literacy platform for women, and I’m looking to gear that back up by the end of 2021, possibly for both men and women,” Hall said. “I want to use social media and blogging more, and do virtual videos to provide little tidbits of information that bolster financial literacy.”

And like everyone, she’s looking forward to a post-pandemic world when she can once again interact with people, face-to-face.

Hall’s is a law enforcement family; her husband is retired law enforcement. She plans to continue to do benefits training for the law enforcement agencies here in her community. Prior to COVID, in fact, she had started working with one of those larger agencies to build financial literacy training into the onboarding process for new employees.

“I found that through my research and my studies those in law enforcement are usually very good at their jobs, but they tend to be emotional and impulsive with money and have a lack of understanding about their benefits and what’s available to them,” Hall noted.

So, she created a training platform that’s focused on specific benefits. It delves into why it’s important to do certain things, and why it’s important not to rely on just a state pension and supplemental pensions for retirement income at the age of 55, which is the age those in law enforcement typically retire.

Such initiatives should help Hall expand her book of business, but client referrals have been the main driver of new business to this point, especially from those in law enforcement. And after about six years now as an independent advisor, she is still in the client acquisition phase.

As for growth goals, she admits to having a client base number in mind, but quickly pointed out: “It’s really about building what brings me joy – and that’s helping the clients, getting close to them. That’s what makes it fun coming to work every day.”

For more information on Ancora Wealth Partners, visit:

Ancora Wealth Partners, 2006 S. Church Street, Suite A, Burlington, NC 27215. 336-967-6497. Investment Advisory services offered through Raymond James Financial Services Advisors, Inc. Ancora Wealth Partners is not a registered broker/dealer and is independent of Raymond James Financial Services. Securities offered through Raymond James Financial Services, Inc., member FINRA/SIPC.


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