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One of the best pieces of advice I have received as I began my professional career in my early twenties regarding my saving for retirement came from my mentor. She herself at the time was just a few months away from retiring and informed me of contributing to a TSA (tax sheltered annuity, also known as a 403b) monthly.
Up until that point, I don’t remember having an adult conversation with another woman about finances. Thankfully, prior to that my father was very helpful and answered any questions I might have, but hearing it from a woman held a certain power.
Ways to Begin the Financial Conversation:
1. Reach Out to Someone Your Trust
The topic of money can be very personal for many people, as it should be, so it’s important that you seek out those who you can trust with the personal information you will be sharing.
2. Talk to Your Daughters/Nieces/Younger Women
By teaching them young, you are giving them power and independence to live a life of their own making – while the conversation may be about money, it is truly a priceless gesture.
3. Talk To Someone You Look Up To
While there are many financial books out there (and I highly recommend reading at least one each year to freshen up your financial focus and skills), speaking to a woman you admire for her success in handling her money as a way of creating a life to admire is like picking up a book off the shelf. Absorb everything and then take time to contemplate how you can use it in your life. Some advice will be highly helpful, some will be lessons of what not to do, but continue to ask questions of people who have made it work when it comes to living a financially successful and rewarding life.
4. Set the Example You Want to See
Don’t be afraid to be the one to discuss the weighty issues, just make sure you are doing it in a respectful way. The conversation must begin if we want to change the cycle of financial conversation being a “boys only” club and instead make it a “who wants to live a financially independent life” club.
Women are more than capable of handling finances and even more capable of becoming very successful at it. After all, it’s not a man or woman thing, it’s the right thing to do for a sound financial foundation in order to build a life of your dreams.