In my years as a money coach, I’ve met with hundreds of people who have privileged me by opening up about their financial situation. The majority of my private clients are high income: $80,000 – $200,000 salary – realtors, film industry, professionals.
In the mix there has been another sub-set: women in their 50s with no money to speak of.
Often it’s not for the reason you’d think. It’s not so much about the traditional Waiting for the Man who Never Came as this: they have lived lives based on their ideals, and forgot to include the sexiness of including a solid investment portfolio in the package.
They have pursued their dreams, things like travelling the world to do good, working for causes at low pay, or pursuing passions that didn’t pay off.
We’re lucky to have these women amongst us.
They come to me because at this stage of the game, it’s sinking in: retirement is a decade or so away, and they are unprepared. Other markers include having such a narrow margin between income and expenses that they are having to think seriously about things like whether they can buy a pair of $80 shoes or not. (I don’t mean chronic lifestyle overspending here. I mean a fairly basic, normal expense).
My message to them usually goes along these lines:
- Part of being an empowered woman is a healthy portfolio and the ability to go toe to toe with any suited financial planner and know what they’re talking about.
- If something is truly “meant to be” it will include the financial resources to be prudent. If it doesn’t include that aspect, no matter how compelling, it probably is not, in fact, “meant to be”.
- There is still time to get on solid ground. It will take intention, and action. The starting place, unlike most of my clients, is not how to cut back even further, but to figure out how to increase their income. And that is their first task.
Photo Credit: Liz Noise