Empowering Women, Financial, Leadership, Tips, Working Women

The Money Connection – Women, Financial Impact, and the Future

Did you know that women drive at least 80% of all consumer purchasing, through a combination of both buying power and influence. Influence in its most simplistic context means that even when a woman isn’t paying for something herself, she often influences someone else’s purchase decision.

I found this to be such a powerful fact and I believe it should be an empowering fact for all women. To think that in a global economy we have such an impact is quite amazing. So why then do many of us neglect to control our financial assets and plan for our future? Many of us – no matter what the relationship context – will outlive a partner and as such we need to plan appropriately.

Here are some tips for the practice of empowerment in a financial perspective:

1. Know your spend volume and your income volume – assess and create a plan to ensure income is greater than expense. Create some goals and take that income and invest in those goals

2. If you aren’t confident in the financial space – connect with a financial advisor. Many companies offer financial services which can help with planning and a strategy for building net worth

3. Take a step back every year in your career to “know your worth”:

a. Do some research on LinkedIn and Glass Door on skills, salaries, and experience

b. Understand where you sit in your company

c. During your annual performance assessment, practice advocating for your pay increase

4. Leverage this same strategy when taking on a new role – negotiate your pay and know your worth! Practice with a mentor or trusted advisor beforehand.

Never underestimate the spend power women have as consumers – we are powerful influencers and we need to embrace our power. Knowing our financial impact is powerful – embrace it!

Some additional resources to read:

Knowing Your Value: Women, Money, and Getting What You’re Worth (Mika Brzezinski)

I had the wonderful opportunity to hear Mika Brzezinski speak at a Comcast Women’s Leadership Summit. Her story on knowing your value is without doubt once of the most interesting and powerful examples of this concept on leveraging your worth! Her book is a must read – politics aside it is a great message interwoven with interesting story-telling.

10 Things Everyone Should Know About Women Consumers (Bridget Brennan)

http://www.forbes.com/sites/bridgetbrennan/2015/01/21/top-10-things-everyone-should-know-about-women-consumers/#3f60eda02897

Empowering Women, Financial, Tips, Working Women

The Road to Retirement 

The road to retirement: a journey best started early!

I can remember when I got my first corporate job. I took the job for the health insurance for my family and took a pay cut as well. I can remember my father strongly suggesting that I participate in the company retirement program and put in as much as the company would match. At that time it was 6% – which at the time seemed like a lot for me to put aside but as my dad said I would be giving up “free money” from the company. So began my journey……

After that first year, his suggestion was that with every raise I received, to take that amount and put it into retirement program until I reached the max contribution amount. Which is exactly what I did and that was easier because it was not taking away from my routine “spend.”

That money begins to grow and compound quickly. My only wish is that I had done some retirement planning earlier in life.

It’s often asked when should someone begin to save for retirement and everyone answers the question differently. Starting early is smart. Ensuring you can support yourself and your family is key as well. So every situation is different.

When you think about retirement (and you should think about it every year) you should assess your goals, your dreams, and your quality of living plan. That may change as you get closer to retirement but ensuring a plan is in place is critical. The small investment in your 20’s will grow and the more you feed that investment, the better your retirement plans will be funded.

It is interesting to think about when one wants to plan for retirement. Many people work well into their 60’s and others into their 70’s. Again this is truly a personal decision – do you love what you do? Is it your passion? If so, perhaps working until your 70 works for you. Ultimately you want it to be your choice to retire when you want – and that only happens through proper retirement planning which begins when you are young.

As I have stated in previous blogs, a financial advisor (a trusted financial advisor) can help you plan for retirement while planning for your financial health now. You can in fact save for retirement while living a good life now.

Check out your company’s plan for retirement matching, 401K matches, etc. Understand your goals for retirement. Don’t underestimate the power of starting your plans for retirement now!

Financial, Tips, Working Women

A Financial Advisor, A Hairdresser, and The Village

Selecting a financial advisor includes a combination of selection criteria – knowledge, experience, and most important, relational trust. I count selecting my financial advisor on the same scale as selecting a doctor and a hairdresser!

I avoided the concept of securing a financial advisor for a long time. I knew it was the right thing to do, I just wasn’t comfortable on how to move forward. Very good friends of mine who were saving, traveling, and securing their future retirement shared their experience with me. I was able to discuss my fears and my concerns and work through my trepidation.

I did an informational interview with the financial advisor and the connection was immediate. I knew this was someone I could trust – someone who wanted to know me, my family, and our goals. He assured me that our plan would be to focus on my short term and long term goals and we would travel the road together. If my goals changed, we would adapt.

That was 7 years ago. We are still working together today. He knows my family and our life situations as they have changed over the past years. I trust him and he has my family’s best interest at heart. In fact, as he changed firms I went with him. I could not imagine anything different because it was him, not the firm itself, that I worked with.

Today I have a long term plan for retirement. We travel, we bought a new house, we have financial resources and a plan that we review a few times a year. I will live a comfortable, fun retirement (if I ever decide to retire). We have a will and a trust that cares for our family after we are gone. My family’s future is cared for and that is comforting. I have peace of mind and security in knowing he is working towards my family’s goals.

My experience is relational and that combined with his knowledge, skills, and experience makes it a perfect fit. I want to work with someone who is willing to be a partner in my financial life.

We review our goals every year and when our goals shift and change (as they do when your life changes) he helps our financial plan align with our goals.

The most important part of working with my financial advisor has been when the unexpected happens. He is typically the second person we call and he is there to work us through it and to let us know we are going to be ok. Then he gets to the brass tacks of walking us through the steps for today, tomorrow, and the future.

I know that I would not be where I am today financially without my financial partner. He is a part of the village that helps me live my life!