You’re here because you have a problem – you’re scared and worried about retirement and how you’re going to survive once your days of working for an income are over. And about what kind of life you’ll be able to live once you can no longer generate earned income from your job or profession.
How do I know this? Because every survey and statistic tells me the vast majority of middle-class, working women in America (and other developed countries), feel this way. Plus, the women I’ve discussed this with in my classes and coaching sessions tell me so.
They’re afraid of becoming Bag Ladies in their old-age (poor and homeless, not the stylish bag you carry around now).
Also, because I once worried about it too.
Even before I was legally old enough to get into a nightclub, I could imagine myself old, destitute and all alone (weird? Yeah, I know). It means I’m future-focused, I plan long-term and I’m invested in building a legacy, for leaving my spaces better than they were before I arrived.
Modern women have been fighting for the last century for equal rights, equal pay, and control over their own lives. And we’ve made a lot of progress, but our paychecks, savings accounts, and investments still fall short of what we need and deserve.
There are many reasons:
1. Women live longer than men.
2. Women still do the vast majority of unpaid labor in our homes and communities.
3. The old-boys club still controls the levers of power in business and politics.
You know all that, and, in your own way, I’m sure you’re working to continue the social and economic improvements in the lives of yourself, your families and humanity. But, as we all know, you need to strap on your own oxygen mask before helping others.
But, that’s the big picture. Right now you want to know why should you keep on reading this rant.
#1: Because this will change your life.
I know this because it did mine, and many others have done it since, and it changed their lives in very positive and permanent ways.
#2: Because I get it and I’d like to help you get “IT” too.
I’ve got a confession to make:
Many years ago I was worried and confused – I was doing everything I know how to do to support and sustain myself and my family. But I was afraid. We didn’t seem to be making much progress. My relationship with my husband was suffering; it seemed like we fought about everything. There was barely enough to keep our two young daughters happy and healthy even though it seemed like all we did was work, work, work.
I’d been supporting myself since I was 17. My husband was an industrious guy, working a full-time and a part-time job and had a college degree. We were committed to making this work – I made it my mission to figure out how.
I searched the book stores and libraries for financial knowledge – how had others become secure and wealthy?
Plowing through most of the personal-finance and success classics:
- . Think and Grow Rich
- . Richest Man in Babylon
- . Unlimited Wealth
- . The Millionaire Next Door
- . Rich Dad, Poor Dad
And also found some hucksters out there selling dubious and erroneous advice.
Gradually, my plan began to emerge. Finding a new thought spiritual community, then called Science of Mind based on the founder’s book of the same name (now called Centers for Spiritual Living), gave me a framework for using visualization, goal setting and treatments to quickly manifest my desires.
As “Change your thinking, change your life” became my mantra, I began to create a life rich in many ways, including the finances and family life I desired. The little blue notebook I made my initial plans in sits on my bookshelf now. And, it makes me happy to see that I now live a life very much like the one I envisioned 30 some years ago. Sure, I didn’t originally put living in Austin Texas as a goal, but I did list helping my kids buy their first homes and, since my oldest daughter chose to buy hers in Austin, I later added living near her to my agenda.
Notice anything strange about the list of classic personal financial advice I discovered? They have two common elements that made my journey more difficult than it needed to be.
First, they’re predominantly from another era – most predate Modern Monetary Theory and the wider ownership of stocks and bonds.
Second, they’re all written by men, about men, and for men.
Until recently, it was hard to find a book about how women become wealthy. The first women’s money mentor I discovered was a Harvard professor named Elizabeth Warren, now Senator Warren, who created the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. She and her daughter, Amelia Warren Tyagi published a book named All Your Worth, The Ultimate Lifetime Money Plan in 2005, about 15 years after I started my journey.
Turns out I wasn’t the only woman working my way through the maze towards financial freedom…
But it all seems very confusing! You hear “experts” repeating these falsehoods again and again:
- Markets (equities) are dangerous
- Markets are riskier than bonds or cash in the bank
- Housing is the best investment
- Gold is the best investment
- You should time markets (buy low, sell high)
- Now is a good time to buy x and y market
- Now is the right time to buy x and y stock
- Markets have hit a peak (they have been saying that since 1900!)
- Getting wealthy is difficult.
- A Roth is always the best retirement account (it isn’t)
- Max your retirement accounts (it’s not even possible or the goal for many women)
- 100% stocks (have you seen Quora when the market drops 3%)
- You don’t need an advisor (you do if you’re not going to learn to do-it-yourself)
- Don’t buy bonds because interest rates are falling (I’ve heard this for how long?)
- Buy the S&P 500 (for diversification)
“You shouldn’t invest on your own, you need a professional financial advisor.”
Do you believe in some of these inventions? Could that be what’s holding you back?