Have you a financial plan for your future? When I get a bit curious about a certain problem or just being curious, I usually take surveys in order to help answer questions that are spinning inside my head. I mostly turn to women I know to help me get answers and I usually begin with one question. I will throw this question to you. What are you doing to ensure the financial well-being of your life once you decide to retire or leave your job? At some point in life, will you have to work because you want to or have to?
The first time I asked this question was when I took a walk in the park with my friend Lucy. Lucy didn’t have time for walks simply because she dedicates all her time to her work. On that day, she turned and told me that we both had made so much money than we could ever expect when we were planning our careers. Then I asked myself where are we going to be when we reached seventy years old? What can one do so that they don’t end up being a bag lady?
Lucy’s eyes widened when she heard ‘bag lady,’ and I immediately knew I struck a chord. At the time, Lucy had a car and a house and after getting in touch with another female colleague, she also said she had a car and a house. I sensed that a pattern was emerging and so, I continued pressing on. I later talked to a college friend who lived in the city who was married with two kids. I asked her the same question and she replied that they have a co-op. “What about a car?” She said she usually takes the kids to school on the bus or subway.
The lady who cuts my hair was my next test subject, and guess what? She owns a small two bedroom house and a car. After all these, I decided to go straight to the source and contacted my investment banker at one of the largest brokerage firms. In my mind, I was sure she would share and offer great insight on some inside strategies regarding her personal finances.
We decided to have lunch and she told me she invested her money in some mutual funds and lost. Her assets include a BMW and a Range Rover. The pattern was clear as day to me. All my baby-boomer friends were only investing in houses and cars and then stopping all of a sudden. This is simply because they didn’t have strong and good strategies to grow their money. No one had taught them how to employ part of their money in order to get ahead.
At this point, I knew something was seriously wrong. Where we are today is the same place we were a decade ago in regards to personal fitness.
Its high time that we all develop and rely on our own judgment when it comes to saving and investing. A long time ago, women went to male doctors who did not take a moment to listen to what a woman had to say about her own body. The male doctor presumed to know all the answers. This is what’s happening to women and their money too.
For women, I strongly believe the way to building financial wealth is through self-knowledge. Women have to take the driver’s seat when it comes to making personal decisions and being aware that they have the power to expand their financial choices. Every woman needs and should stand on her own financial legs. This makes today the best time to secure your own financial future.