Last week at the NAPFA (National Association for Personal Financial Planners) event, T.D. Ameritrade sponsored several women focused events. One event was a showing of the movie Miss Representation. It highlighted the influence media has had on women in leadership and political roles.
Unfortunately, women in such roles has decreased rather than increased over the past thirty years. The pressure on girls to focus on their weight and appearance over education and leadership is alarming. According to the film, girls actually start saying they are not good at math around the age of twelve, whether it’s true or not.
A client recently asked me to work as a financial coach with both her and her young adult daughter; this is not the first time this has occurred. I am, of course, delighted because this is truly positive role modeling around financial empowerment for the next generation.
What message are you sending to your daughters, granddaughters, nieces and your friend’s daughters? Some of the ways that we can model an active role in our financial health are:
- Being present in meetings with financial advisors, attorneys and CPA’s. We use a wealth team to do work for us, but this doesn’t mean that we don’t need to know them, and what we are asking them to do on our behalf.
- Always, always, always know where your money is, and how to access that money.
- Understand the very basics of any investment you have.
- Keep a marketable skill. The divorce rate is almost 50% in the United States. No one plans for an accident just as no one plans for a divorce. Know you can land on your feet with Plan B if you have left the work force for any reason.
- Have credit in your own name.
- Know who is making the decisions about investing your money, and what kind of job they are doing for you; it’s your money.
Let the younger women in your life know and see that these things are important to you. If this list looks intimidating, seek the help of a financial coach. Money provides food and shelter for you or your family. Let’s demonstrate its importance so that the next generation of women doesn’t believe that the “man is a plan” myth is still valid either consciously or unconsciously.