It is NOT taboo to talk about money – it is our responsibility. Research shows couples who talk regularly about money are happier than those who don’t.Take action and identify one commitment to improving your financial well-being in 2019! Here are some key takeaways and photos from the event that we hope you enjoy.
Thanks to all who attended and braved the downpours (we need the rain!), we raised over $1500 for Path to College. Visit Path to College to learn more about them.
And, special thanks to Ellen Regnery for sharing her expertise on the importance of having an estate plan.
Stop the Money Silence!
It is NOT taboo to talk about money – it is our responsibility. Research shows couples who talk regularly about money are happier than those who don’t.
Ask for greater compensation and benefits.
The wage gap and time out of work as a caregiver can significantly reduce your life time earnings and savings. To close the gap, focus on what you can control: Ask! Be direct and ask industry contacts in your network to help; and sites like Comparably or Get Raised offer salary data specific to your industry, function, and geography and offer tips on asking for a raise. And think about what is essential to you: flexible work schedules, better job title, more travel, more leadership opportunities. Most importantly, approach negotiations as a conversation, not a confrontation and if you don’t ask, the answer is always no!
Don’t Over Think
Being engaged with your money and finances is about being able to answer a few fundamental questions. Start with: what matters to you, who matters to you and what do you want to accomplish with this one life? Women know more than they give themselves credit for. Own this part of your life and don’t leave long-term financial planning and investment decisions to someone else – be engaged!
Be Aware and Be Wise when it comes to spending
Know what is automatically debited from your accounts, what membership/subscription fees you’re paying and be honest with yourself; is it a want or a need? Don’t deprive yourself but keep in mind, your monthly living expenses is a major factor in determining how much you will have to fund your lifestyle in retirement.
Avoid Excessive Debt
Avoid all credit card debt, especially direct retail cards (e.g., Nordstrom) where interest rates can be close to 25%. You may be able to refinance and reduce student loan debt (through organizations like Sofi) and set expectations and a budget with your child so they aren’t saddled with debt or you don’t jeopardize your own retirement.
Create Disciplined Savings
Automate your savings to establish strong financial/ money habits. Have 3-6 months of monthly spending on the side in case of emergency and maximize both your contribution and your employer’s (if offered) in your retirement plan. A Health Savings Account (HSA) is a powerful tool to save for medical expenses in retirement, especially given the triple tax benefit. Keep in mind, you must be in a high deductible health care plan in order to participate. And, 529 College Savings plans can now be used for private school tuition prior to college.
Manage Investment Risk
Research shows 92% of an investment portfolio’s return is solely based on asset allocation. Ensure your aggregate household’s investments are appropriately diversified, not just each individual account. This way you may avoid assuming more risk than you intended and jeopardizing your success.
Have an Estate Plan to protect yourself, loved ones and your legacy
The basic documents control decision making so that your wealth is transitioned and to ensure your intentions are fulfilled if you become incapacitated. Essential documents include: Powers of attorney (for both property and healthcare), a will, and in many cases a revocable trust. It’s critical to confirm your beneficiary designations on retirement accounts and life insurance policies coordinate with your estate plan. Secure healthcare and financial powers of attorney for any unmarried adult children, and don’t avoid talking to your parents about their wishes. Communication with children and parents will help avoid potential conflicts and miscommunication in the future.
Maintain the Right Mindset
You become what you believe! Change your internal dialogue and don’t underestimate what it takes to be financially savvy. Having a positive and confident mindset around your finances and money will help transform your relationship with it, enable you to take actions, establish better habits and achieve a better outcome.
RESOURCES AND TAKING ACTION!
Financial Planning: There are wide ranging resources to help you, from working with an advisor to various do-it-yourself online tools typically available through your (or your spouse’s) employer’s retirement plan website or linked to your investment account.
Podcasts: Her Money from Jean Chatzky offers podcasts on various financial topics.
Online magazine/newsletters: Ellevest
Take the challenge! Take action and identify one commitment to improving your financial well-being in 2019! We encourage you to write it down, share it with others and schedule a time on your calendar in one month to check in with how you are doing. If you share it, we will reach out in a month to check in too!
– Dates to follow soon.
Mindfulness – The Power of Pausing
Overcoming Life Changing Obstacles
Finally, if you haven’t already started following us, don’t forget to join us on our CSIG Women’s Forum Facebook page.
We are always here as a resource to support your success and to help you create an abundant life!