The first and maybe most important financial advice I can give anyone is to not be afraid of dealing with your own finances. Portafina Website
We’ve been taught by “experts” since we were young that only trained professionals should be managing our money, whether they be bank managers or brokers. And, when you think about it, isn’t that silly?
Many of us are facing financial challenges of one kind or another right now because of those financial professionals! I don’t know about you, but I don’t want anyone managing my money who contributed to the recent Great Recession!
And as Baby Boomer women, we grew up during a time when women weren’t supposed to touch the family finances beyond (maybe) balancing the family’s checkbook. Again, I say that’s silly.
Baby Boomer women have gone into space, run for president and vice president, and are running multinational corporations! I think we’ve more than proven ourselves capable of handling our personal finances!
Granted, wealth management is a skill, and it takes some time to master it. But I have learned a system that’s giving me great returns while doing a good job of minimizing my financial risk. And, I get to learn the skills and apply them-no one else is managing my finances for me! I find that taking responsibility for my own finances has actually given me a greater feeling of freedom.
The other thing I suggest to women I work with is that we constantly see our finances as an end to something rather than an end in themselves. I’ve seen people who lived happily with comparatively little-and people who lived in McMansions and were miserable. I know you know people like this, too.
What I advise, then, is to decide what you want to have and experience during the rest of your life. Do you want to learn how to play guitar, take a long trip to Andorra, or go back to school for a science degree?
Take a moment, close your eyes, and imagine the eulogist at your funeral. What do you want this person to be able to say about your legacy?
This is what our finances are for-to support our dreams and to allow us to be the people and do the things we want in our lives. The purpose of money isn’t to generate interest, at least not in and of itself. The purpose of money is to generate an interesting life!
Likewise, I advise women not to get so caught up in finances that we define ourselves by how much money we have. This is a common misconception in America-but really, what does it mean? If you want to be a millionaire, great-I want to be a millionaire so I’m becoming one myself. But the way I’m becoming a millionaire, and what I’m doing with my financial freedom, are the things that actually matter.
Ultimately, then, my financial advice for women over 50-or for anyone, really-is all about our attitudes. It’s about facing our fears and taking responsibility for what is ours. It’s about seeing our lives holistically instead of broken into separate segments, with our spiritual or creative lives over here and our finances over there. And it’s about seeing finances for what they are-a tool. What we do with that tool, though, is entirely up to us!