En español | That so many women are finding new energy and courage to advocate for a better, more equitable world is the very definition of awesome.
But even great movements can have their blind spots. As encouraged as I am by #MeToo, I am increasingly frustrated about what’s being left out of the conversation: money. There is almost no discussion of how women’s empowerment requires financial security.
It may never be easy to step up at work when you, or colleagues, are being mistreated. What’s more, I am here to tell you it’s near impossible to stand tall if you don’t have an emergency savings fund. Knowing you have money you can live on if you need to leave that job is a source of courage to do what’s right.
An emergency fund is what can give you an extra kick of courage to speak your truth.
It also saddens me that in 2018 so many women still aren’t powerful with the money they have. I am talking about successful career women who don’t have a clue what to do. They let their money sit in cash, barely earning 1 percent, rather than learning how to invest.
Or they let their husband take care of money stuff for them. They tell me this is an equitable sharing of responsibility; they make the trains run on time in the household, and their husband handles the finances.
Listen, ladies, I hope your husband is the greatest guy with terrific money sense, but all that is irrelevant.
You must be an equally engaged partner in all money decisions. Divorce or widowhood is not the time to realize you know nothing about your money.
The time is now. The payoff is incalculable: peace of mind that you are in control of the money you have.
What every women has to have in place or know about, for sure:
- You have an eight-month emergency savings fund.
- You or whoever is the highest earner in the household will delay starting Social Security until age 70.
- If you are married and your spouse has a pension, strongly consider the 100 percent joint-and-survivor benefit. This is the only way you’ll continue to receive the same pension payment if your spouse dies before you.
- Your long-term retirement funds are invested for growth. (Yep, that means owning some stock mutual funds.) Your retirement could last 20 to 30 years. You require some growth to have a chance that your money will keep pace with inflation over the years.
- Every financial account needs the correct beneficiaries. Review all account documents once a year to confirm this.