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Building the Foundation for Financial Security and Independence

Building the Foundation for Financial Security and Independence

There will always be unforeseen circumstances that will affect cash flow. Who could foretell being quarantined due to the novel COVID-19 global pandemic and all its economic destruction?

There is also still discrimination against women in the workplace. With all the advances with women over the decades, women still typically make 18% less than men?

Robin Bleiwier of DC think tank Center for American Progress writes:

Since the last second half of the 20th century, women’s labor force participation has grown significantly. Women are working longer hours and pursuing higher education. However, despite the progress, significant wage gaps between men and women persist – particularly for women of color.

Moreover, Bleiwier espouses that according to “…the most recent Census Bureau data from 2018, women of all races earned, on average, just 82 cents for every $1 earned by men of all races.”

[Related: Five Strategies for Narrowing the Gender Pay Gap]

With such financial disparity between men and women, coupled with circumstances beyond our control that regrettably alter our lives and our finances, it is essential for women to learn financial literacy.

The reason being? Women lose twice.

First, women lose out on earning an equal salary. Second, life’s bad luck strikes everybody, but for women, it is compounded. As women don’t possess as much financial power, we cannot recoup as easily from unforeseen events. In short, we have less money to work with from the start to help us recover from an emergency.

How do we level out the playing field? It’s twofold. First, we need to be proactive to increase our value to our organizations. This can be done by:

  • Gaining new skills.
  • Filling voids in company capabilities.
  • Suggesting strategies for savings.
  • Proposing new revenue streams.
  • Streamlining current operations.

There are also tools to help women investors grow their portfolios. Compound interest is a powerful money generator over time, as one makes interest on the principle amount and on all accrued interest. A one-time $5,000 investment earning 7% interest compounded annually will grow to $19,348,42 over a 20-year period. Historically, you will double your money every seven to ten years.

Albert Einstein knew that compound interest had the potential to transmute and embolden lives. He supposedly declared that “compound interest is the most powerful force in the universe.” It works 24 hours a day. You can picture it as if there are financial soldiers working for you around the clock. These soldiers labor for you when you work, when you have fun, and even when you sleep.

[Related: Why Women Need to be Wealthy and What We Can Do to Get There]

Financial tools are impartial, are blind to gender, sex, and skin color, don’t discriminate, and have no prejudice. Financial tools level out the playing field with regards to workplace discrimination and unforeseen emergencies. Financial tools are there for you to learn, master, and apply, so you can build security.

There is a plethora of information available. Many free tools teach the pillars of personal finance, such as budgeting, saving, investing, and retirement planning. Free resources include:

  • American Association of Individual Investors.
  • Kiplinger’s Report.
  • Morningstar.
  • Motley Fool.
  • Vanguard.
  • Schwab.
  • TR Price.
  • Fidelity.

The brutal reality is that nobody’s going to be more concerned about your money than you. Fortunately, the upside is that you don't have to be Albert Einstein to learn the tools of financial independence. No one needs to be an expert, but you need to know the lexicon and basics of finance to know if you’re getting the right advice.

For many women, the thought of managing money is intimidating, even frightening. The only way to overcome fear is to engage what you fear. There’s no time like the present to stand up, be in control, and take charge of your financial future. Once you cross the threshold of financial insecurity and fear, you will be stronger, smarter, and emboldened for any unforeseen situation that comes your way.

We will never be able to predict the future, but we can financially prepare and possess security and peace of mind. We have not closed the financial disparity between women and men yet. One day soon, we women will earn equal pay for our great impactful work in society and the world. Until that glorious day, we can level the playing field through career advancement, financial literacy, and investing.

Once you can protect yourself through financial security, share that knowledge and empower and protect your mothers, sisters, and daughters. By doing so, we change the system for the better — one woman at a time.

[Related: Why Women Work for Less, and How to Change the Pattern]

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Pichi Bellingrath McClure is a resilience expert. She helps people strengthen their personal leadership and overcome the impossible through her content, tools, and strategies. Subscribe to her biweekly Resilience Tips and follow her on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram.


Have more questions? Follow up with the expert herself.

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