Many women don’t feel like they deserve to be wealthy for one reason or another. My own mother has always been “poor” mainly because she, like so many women, has been the sole provider of her three children ever since my parents divorced when I was 13. She refused to take money from my father to which she was rightfully entitled to because she wanted a “clean break.” We lived hand-to-mouth. When we asked mom about money, she would never discuss it. Instead, she asked us, “Do you have enough to eat?” We were always well fed, so the conversation ended there. I’m making a point of talking about money with my girls. However, like typical teenagers, they seem more interested in their appearance and fashion at this point—more cultural conditioning!
Women have been so brainwashed by the destructive culture that taught them to associate money with sin, level and everything crude, that it would take an entire book to disentangle the subconscious fears and incredible fantasies that the simple noun “money” evokes in most women.
–Betty Lehan Harragan, author of Games Mother Never Taught You
While women are raised to be nice, kind, good and giving, it often means they give away more of their money than they should. In contrast, men were never taught that they needed to be ‘worthy’ to deserve wealth. You will never become wealthy until you decide to do so. Wishing and hoping isn’t going to work. You need to learn and understand the principles of money, saving and investing. It isn’t as hard as you think. And once you learn, the statistics show that women make better investors than men so your family’s financial health should also improve when you take over the investing.
My 15-year-old daughter came home from school the other day and asked who managed the money in the household. I told her that her father manages the household bills, and I manage the investing. Apparently, I was the outlier, as all her friends said their dads managed the money. It is time for women to step up to the plate!
I remember deciding at a relatively young age that I wanted to be a millionaire. I read a book that advised writing down this statement: “I will be a millionaire in seven years on the date of _____.” I wrote that in my diary. Then seven years passed and guess what? I wasn’t a millionaire.
I realized I needed a better plan. So I went to see a financial advisor. They helped me create a plan to first pay off my debts. And they printed out three scenarios for retiring as a millionaire. But when I saw how much I’d have to save each month to get there, it felt impossible. A million was just such a huge sum that it didn’t feel real. I didn’t see how I could ever save that much. Thankfully, I didn’t give up entirely. I saved 15-20% of my income which turned out to be sufficient. I only recently discovered that the retirement researcher, Wade Pfau, came up with a “safe savings rate” of 16.66% to ensure you’ll have enough to retire comfortably.
I highly recommend coming up with a couple of different plans that will get you where you want to go. And now you don’t need to see a financial planner to create a plan, although I’d recommend it for other reasons. You can play with a few free retirement calculators to see whether you are on track or not. Todd Tressidder’s Ultimate Retirement calculator is one of the best free calculators. But take a look at Fidelity’s as well. This can be an eye-opening experience. Or you could simply do a bit of basic math to see how much you need and multiply your salary by 25. How much do you need to retire?
But back to worthiness. Who said you have to be deserving to be wealthy? I can think of any number of very wealthy people who aren’t at all deserving. Wouldn’t it be great if more generous, kind and loving people like you were wealthier? Think of all the good you could do in the world! As Richard Paul Evans says,
“To be great in fiscal health is very much like being great in physical health. It allows you to do more and be more, and permits you to live your life free of constant pain and bondage.”
Money means different things to different people. Some people see money as power. I see money as freedom. So, I urge you to take the first step to become fiscally healthy. Decide to become wealthy. Why not? After that, anything is possible. At the very least, you certainly deserve a comfortable retirement, right?