I was invited to speak to a group of women at an event called “Cocktails and Conversations” in January of 2019. I considered a lot of different ideas for topics and finally settled on “How to Get Your Financial &*^% Together.” In January, our thoughts tend to turn to the things we’d like to improve in our lives, and financial stuff seems to come up a lot…so I’m thinking ahead.
I thought I would give you a quick, distilled preview of what I’ll be sharing in the unlikely event that you haven’t got it all together yet. Let’s start with “WHY Should I Get My Financial &*^% Together”? just in case you need some motivation:
- So you’re not poor when you’re old and can’t do anything about it
- So no one else suffers if you die or get sick or hurt…and you can afford to get the right care and not be a burden on anyone
- So you can finally get that worry monkey off your back
- And maybe help someone else or leave a legacy for your family or causes you care about
Exactly WHAT does getting one’s financial &*^% together entail? Here are the basics you will want to cover:
- Financial Independence (or Retirement): will I run out of money? When can I stop working for the money?
- Investing: how should I be invested to support my goals?
- Risk: do I have enough insurance and money to make sure everyone is financially OK if I die, get sick or hurt, or have a long-term care situation?
- Estate: will my assets go to where I want them to? Will my heirs be financially OK, and how hard will it be for them to settle my estate?
- Et al:
And finally, I have some TIPS to keep in mind as you get your &*^% together. These work for anyone, not just women:
- Always have your own cash reserve and your own credit (yes, even if your partner is a multi-bajillionaire who will worship you forever)
- Always save for your own retirement (still yes, even with the bajillionaire)
- Get a prenup even if you and your partner will worship each other forever and a prenup is just SO unromantic
- Invest most of your retirement savings in a broad portfolio of stocks, meaning not just bonds and cash
- DO NOT TAKE THE HOUSE IF YOU ARE DIVORCING. Or at least have a neutral third party analyze that situation before you cling irrationally to the house
- Don’t let your partner manage your money alone; stay involved. No, I don’t care if you don’t like it or you’re bad at it or it’s awkward
- Realize that you are not as bad at math and/or finances as you think. You also have a great capacity to learn
Finally, I want to thank you for being my wonderful client, partner, and/or friend for another fun, prosperous, happy year! You are the reason I do this work, and the holidays are a good time to say how grateful I am to be doing what I love for people I love and appreciate.