Plan For The Best, Prepare For The Worst
Everybody wants to create financial success. This is a basic tenet of our society, a message taught to us from a very early age, and reinforced through the media, our families and our own pocketbook. Financial success can come from many sources, it can be the result of a well thought out plan, implemented over many years, it can come in the form of an inheritance, a new business or a divorce settlement. Regardless of how it is achieved, we are ingrained with the notion that having lots of money equates success, freedom and influence. Much of this is true, and creating wealth and security is an incredibly empowering experience.
Women’s Financial Literacy
However, for many women there is still an enormous gap in Financial Literacy in this country, and while women are making enormous strides in business, achieving the highest positions in a variety of professions, we are still woefully ill-prepared to manage out own finances and investing. There are a number of reasons for this, including psychological components, societal expectations and life events that throw us an enormous monkey wrench. When we come to terms with our own psychological blocks in creating prosperity, we create the space to develop a successful plan and the will to follow it through.
For women, the need for security may outweigh the need for freedom or influence, but woman are equally, in not more, focused on creating financial security. While success is a wonderful outcome to our efforts, there is a significant psychological component to creating and managing your financial life. There are patterns we follow that are rooted in our childhood, and patterns we establish within our current relationships. Our own attitudes towards money impact whether we feel capable of making it and managing it correctly. Additionally, there is an enormous sociological gap in the education of girls and women in this country in the subjects of finance and investing. We will explore many of the reasons for this, and the current movement among women in America to change this paradigm.
Many of life’s tragedies can befall us, and women are only too keen to understand this. Women face potential perils, including health issues, divorce, widowhood, caring for disabled children, caring for their aging parents, dealing with their husband losing his job. These are external events that all women think about, and most face at some point in their lives. There are the “fault-lines” that all women fear, the potential tremor beneath our feet that will send us to our knees. While we can’t prevent these potential earthquakes, we can prepare for them. Talking about what worries you, and making a plan to prepare the best you can for these potential scenarios allows us to sleep easier at night. The catch is that women need to be educated about personal finance to be able to over-see her own kitty. Over 90% of all American women will at some point in their lives be solely responsible for their own finances, either through divorce, widowhood or remaining single. Yet less than 2% of women polled rated themselves as “very knowledgeable” about investing. To reconcile this astonishing discrepancy, there is an urgent need for women to decide to take classes and seminars, read books and talk to professionals to receive the education she needs to manifest her own Financial Freedom.
Many women feel insecure about finance, and have been afraid to ask questions are their lives. As women commonly maintain the household budget, paying the bills and balancing the checkbook, it is still common to have the man of the house managing the family investments. The majority of financial advisors are men, so the wife may feel afraid that if she asks simple questions in meetings, they will be perceived as “dumb questions”. Women have not found a safe place to begin learning about finance, and an encouraging environment to continue their education and work on their own financial plan. This book is focused on women’s financial literacy, and provides easy to follow instructions on the basic components of getting started with your own financial education. Personal stories of real people are interwoven, showing real life examples of the issues discussed.
My clients come to me with a broad range of financial circumstances, some are struggling, some are focusing on preserving their wealth and planning for their legacy. Regardless of an individual’s financial circumstances, they are driven by the desire for security. Living with Epilepsy has shown me that we can overcome enormous adversity when there is a will to change our lives. It has taught me that we can have the best-laid plans, and disaster can befall us. It is my job to help my clients achieve their goals, and to help protect them from the various perils we all face. Nobody leaves this life unscathed, and I know that through my own struggle, I have found both a deeper empathy for others, and a greater optimism for them as well.