Approach your overall financial situation like a puzzle. You want to ensure you have all the pieces and they are fitting snugly together.
The most important piece of the puzzle is the picture on the box. This is the vision of your future. The "Six Pillars to Financial Empowerment(TM)" will significantly increase the probability of you accomplishing your puzzle picture.
I want to introduce you to two women. Very similar – smart, professional women with busy lives.
Meet Mary. Mary is a Pediatrician who works part-time so she can be more involved in her children’s lives. She likes to cook and run marathons and prefers almost anything over investments and has delegated the responsibility of the family finances to her husband. She makes every effort to attend as few of the meetings with their Advisor as possible.
When we check in a few years later: Mary has blissfully continued to rely on her husband, Mark, and their Advisor to handle the finances. And then… Mark dies suddenly of a heart attack. Mary’s world is turned upside down. Not only is she grieving, but she doesn’t understand anything about their financial situation. Mary shared, “I’m scared. I don’t know what this means financially to my children, my lifestyle, my retirement. I don’t even really know if I can still afford to stay in my house. It’s overwhelming. I know my Advisor will help me, but I realize I’m completely reliant on someone else. I wish I would have been more engaged when Mark was alive.”
If any of you have lost your spouse, you feel Mary’s pain. And my heart goes out to you. Or maybe you have a friend who has had something similar happen to them. The advice most women would give their friends is to get in front of it, to be proactive and get your arms around your financial situation before something happens. But women have a hard time spending time and money on themselves. They wait for the trigger to happen and then wish they would have made the up-front investment.
Meet Sally. Sally is a partner with a small, advertising firm and is very creative. She says she hates math and admits she's one of those women whose husband drags her to the meetings with the Advisor and she glazes over, thinking about all the different projects she’d rather be working on.
When we check in a few years later: Sally and her husband recently had a meeting with their Advisor. Sally shares the experience. “I sat up straight and asked questions with confidence! If I didn’t understand what he was saying, I stopped him and asked him to explain the concept. It was by far the best meeting we’ve ever had with our Advisor. And then - we got home and Steve turned to me and said, “I finally feel like we are financial partners. The financial burden is no longer entirely on my shoulders.” I had no idea he even felt that way.”
Wow – what changed??? Sally recognized that she needed to learn more about money and decided to join an Ellegance for Women cohort. Her husband, Steve, was encouraging and supportive. During the process she worked through the “Six Pillars to Financial Empowerment(TM)”. Sally is thrilled she spent the time getting educated. She knows she still has a lot to learn but has clearly moved from the back seat to the front seat of her financial journey.