Episode 98: Millennials & Money with Emily Benedetto
This week I sat down fellow financial planner and Abacus financial advisor Emily Benedetto to talk about decisions millennials make around their money.
Though she has always had a penchant for numbers, she took a bit of an interesting route to becoming a CFP but now loves every minute of it. If she had her druthers she’d be living on a farm and working as a farmer/financial planner. She’s married, has 5 siblings, love reading, horses, and helping folks systematize their money lives.
HERE’S WHAT YOU’LL LEARN FROM THIS EPISODE:
How Emily got into financial planning and what convinced her to become a CFP®
The inner discovery she made by deciding to work at Abacus Wealth Partners
When your inner voice tells you “You can’t” how to get to “You can!”
Why it’s important to face the things you are afraid of
Emily’s timeline of getting to Abacus
How money relationships can evolve overtime
The importance of taking control of your finances
Two different approaches to managing savings goals
Which archetype category do you fall into?
The impact that is made going from a saver to an investor
Emily’s other passion besides financial planning
Future savings bucket to consider as you grow in your career
Episode 97: Running a Business as a Couple with Angela Greaser
This week I sat down Angela Greaser to talk what it’s like running a business with your significant other.
Angela is a strategic operations consultant and co-founder of All The Ops. Led by Angela and her husband Dan, All The Ops helps business owners structure efficient teams and systems to skyrocket their profitability and claim their CEO seat.
HERE’S WHAT YOU’LL LEARN FROM THIS EPISODE:
How Angela and her husband decided to go into business together
Deciding what role each spouse plays in the business
The benefits of understanding each spouse’s business strengths and weaknesses
The two reasons why Angela and her husband chose to have a business together
The goods and bads of having your significant other as your business partner
How communication can make or break spouses in business together
Why being flexible has to be a part of the framework
How to align your life and business goals
The importance of being intentional in your business
The risks involved with going into business with your significant other
Why you should have an exit strategy if the initial plan doesn’t work out
Three questions Angela and her husband asked to see if their business together would be sustainable
In today’s world, there’s a lot of pressure on women to succeed both in the workplace and at home. Yet, when people think of a household with dual-income, people often think of the man in a relationship being the family’s primary breadwinner. A breadwinning woman has a varied of different financial pressures and benefits that come with it.
It’s an old-school idea, but the outdated concept of who can be financially successful in a marriage (and who stays home) is still prevalent in our society. However, this idea isn’t always reality.
More and more women are starting to outearn their male partners, and I work with several families who are falling into this earning category. In fact, in my own family, I’m the breadwinner. With this much first-hand exposure to women who are taking the financial lead in their families, I’ve seen the benefits of this dynamic first hand. However, I’ve also seen the stress and anxiety it can cause if both partners aren’t dedicated to supporting one another.
Today, I want to talk about the experience of being a breadwinning woman – from the unexpected stresses, to how my family and others make this dynamic work.
My Own Experience
For many years, my husband and I have been in a dual-income household. There were years when he was the primary breadwinner and recently we went through a stint where I was the sole provider. As of now, we’re back to being a dual-income household with me as the breadwinner while both of us work to develop our careers in new and exciting ways.
There have been so many benefits to me being the breadwinner for our family – both when my husband was working, and when I was the sole provider. However, there have also been several unexpected drawbacks that I couldn’t have anticipated.
The Pressure of Being a Breadwinning Woman
I should start by saying that my husband is always my #1 fan, and I’ve never made a career move that wasn’t supported 100% by him. I’ve also always been a proud, strong woman who has never been afraid to grow in my career. So, I was surprised when I felt a new kind of pressure stepping into a breadwinning woman role. In the back of my mind, there was a worry that people would judge how my husband and I chose to run our family.
That’s because, even for someone who is as confident as I am, the pressures of our culture can eat away at anybody’s self-worth. Female breadwinners often are judged for whether or not they’re being a good enough mom, how they run their household, or what role they take on in their community. Male breadwinners are often viewed as responsible and as strong leaders in the workplace, while female breadwinners can be viewed as too aggressive. The hypocrisy is endless, and it can be overwhelming at times.
The Financial (And Non-Financial) Considerations For Being a Breadwinning Woman
Beyond just the cultural stress and judgment that may accompany being a breadwinning woman, there are other pros and cons to consider.
Even if you’re the breadwinner in your family, and you and your partner are secure financially, it may feel like you’re hustling 10x harder to make the same amount that your male colleagues are bringing home. This can cause extra stress.
Advocating for yourself in the workplace to continue to earn what you’re worth is a critical part of supporting your family financially, and continuing to increase your net worth.
Planning For Retirement
Another financial consideration is the longer lifespan that women often have. Whether you’re the breadwinner or not, it’s still important to think about how you’ll be financially supported should you outlive your partner. If you’re the primary income earner, you may be taking the lead on funding your savings goals – from building your emergency fund, to contributing to your retirement accounts.
Regardless of whether you or your partner earn more, a savings plan should be put in place to support both of you throughout your years as a retiree. Even if that financial stressor seems like it’s in the distant future, it’s worth the conversation with your partner. Take the time to determine what you’ll both need in retirement, and put a savings plan in place that protects each of you.
Pressure In The Workplace
If you’re the breadwinner in your household, you might find a unique kind of pressure to continue providing for your family while still upholding a spotless reputation at work, and pushing to continue your career growth. It can be a lot of unexpected anxiety. Communication in your relationship, and in the workplace, can help to combat this. Worrying about whether or not you’re knocking it out of the park at work is normal, but if you’re feeling extreme pressure and anxiety to be perfect 100% of the time, it might be time to speak up and ask for support.
Being a Breadwinning Woman Works For My Family – And It Can Work For Yours
Despite the pressures of being a breadwinning woman, there are also many benefits. It’s worked for my family for years – and it can work for yours too. The key is to communicate clearly and often with your partner. Approaching decisions in your relationship, financial and otherwise, should be done together as a team. Here are a few ways you and your partner can find success as a family with you as the breadwinning woman:
#1: Understanding your own anxiety about being a breadwinning woman. The more you’re able to be honest with yourself and your partner about how you’re feeling and the stories or money scripts that may be playing in your mind, the less anxious or frustrated you’re going to feel. Don’t shy away from being introspective!
#2: Remember that you two define your roles in your family – nobody else. For example, having spent a period of time as the sole income earner, my husband took the lead on day-to-day parenting, time with our kids, and managing the household (a full-time job in itself). During this season I was growing Workable Wealth, investing time in my team, and expanding my personal finance educational platform. It helped tremendously to know that we had decided on these roles as a team, and that we were each contributing to our family’s success.
#3: Approach your financial plan together. By approaching your life and your family’s money as a team, you remove a significant amount of stress each of you can feel when being the primary provider. You’re also able to make ongoing decisions for the greater good of your team, without feeling frustrated with one another.
#4: Get real about the division of labor. As the primary income earner in your house, there might not be time to crush it at work and keep your home life in perfect shape. Sit down with your partner to figure out who’s taking the lead on what household chores, or other family responsibilities and what you can outsource. Do you need a housecleaner, someone to help with laundry or meal prep? Be as specific as possible and delegate out if it’s within your means. The more clear you both are on how you’re working together and where you need help, the less likely you are to feel responsible for everything.
#5: Set clear boundaries. It’s important to set boundaries both at work and with people in your personal life. This might mean you leave your phone on the kitchen counter in the evenings to avoid late-night checking your email. It might mean politely declining to talk about your family’s financial decisions with your friends or prying mother in law. You get to set boundaries with yourself and others to live your best life and protect your family.
Being a breadwinning woman can be tough, even with the most supportive partner. The most important thing is that the two of you are making the best possible decision for your family as a team. All of the pressures you might face are so much easier when you face them together!
It’s not a secret that I’ve recently had a pretty major career pivot as the founder of Workable Wealth. After spending years growing this platform as a financial planning firm and educational resource about all things personal finance, I decided to merge with another fantastic financial planning practice – Abacus Wealth. Going through this transition, I’ve heard a lot of questions about how you can make a pivot in your career successfully.
Whether you’re a business owner or a career professional who feels like it’s time for a change, making a pivot can be overwhelming and stressful. There’s a lot of fear before pursuing something new. Change itself is scary enough, but when you add in other question marks about your future salary, growth opportunities, and fulfillment, it’s even more difficult.
So, let’s talk about how to know when it’s time to pivot in your career – and how to financially pull it off.
What’s Your Why?
Everyone feels down about their job or career every once in a while. It’s called work for a reason, and even if you’re a business owner, or crushing it in a field you love, you’re still going to have days when work feels less than inspiring. Going through a tough season isn’t necessarily a reason to drop everything and pivot in your career or business. Before you make any decisions, it’s important to hit “pause” and evaluate the reason that’s driving your desire to make a change.
There are several reasons a career pivot might be appealing to you. However, they can be boiled down to three key categories:
1. There’s a fulfillment problem with your work. 2. There’s a fulfillment problem with your personal life. 3. You’ve reached a financial or career-growth ceiling in your current industry.
A short-term season where you experience a disconnect is completely normal, and may not warrant a full pivot. However, if you’ve been feeling this way for a while, or have a strong drive to try something new, it’s worth listening to your intuition.
Fulfillment problems with your personal life may feel like a lack of work/life balance, wanting to relocate to another part of the country, or needing more cash flow to meet your financial goals. Sometimes personal life problems can be corrected within your current role. A frank conversation with your boss about virtual work, or a well-deserved raise, for example, can work wonders. However, sometimes a lack of fulfillment in your personal life is directly correlated to a career that isn’t meeting your needs anymore.
Finally, if you’ve reached a ceiling of growth (financial or otherwise) in your current industry, a pivot might be appealing. Consulting, for example, can often yield higher pay from people who respect your experience.
The “why” behind your career pivot will help you to determine which move is best for you both now and in the future.
What Career Pivot Makes Sense For You?
There are so many different ways to pivot in your career, and the change you make will likely impact multiple areas of your life. In general, you can pivot in one of three ways – you can get a new job, pursue work in a new industry, or start on a new career path in your current industry.
Pivot to a New Job
A new job might mean applying for a different position within your organization, or job hunting at other companies. Your new job can solve many different problems that inspired your career pivot. You could find a position in an area you love, that has a higher salary or better benefits, or that is more flexible with a work schedule that fits your lifestyle needs.
A new job might not necessarily mean a promotion – but it could! Explore positions that have a need for your unique skillset, and decide whether you want to find a job that’s similar to what you’re currently doing, or one that has different job responsibilities.
Start a Career in a New Industry
If you’re feeling uninspired by your job and your industry as a whole, you might want to start looking to pivot your career to a new industry. There are many industries out there with different specializations within each field. Do some research to find the types of roles that inspire you.
Reach out to people in those current industries or specializations to learn more about what they do. The last thing you want is to pivot to a new industry only to realize that the problem you were experiencing followed you to your new role.
New Career Path
A new career path within your current organization or industry can solve many problems, as well. For example, you may love the company you work for, but feel completely burnt out managing people in operations. If you work for a big enough organization that has flexibility with internal hiring, you could go to your HR department to discuss other opportunities within your company. This can be a fantastic pivot for someone who may not want to relocate, or even leave your current company or field, but is looking for a change.
You might also decide to pursue a new career path within your industry that allows for more flexibility – like business ownership. Whether you want to do freelance work, act as a consultant, or even launch your own small business in your specialization, entrepreneurship may be the “pivot” you’re looking for.
Do Your Research and Build a Strategy
Regardless of what kind of pivot you want to make in your professional life, you have to have a plan in place to financially pull it off. Making a big change without thinking through its impact on your finances can cause a lot of problems in the short and long term. A new job, for example, could impact your budget – but it could also impact your ability to save for retirement if your new company doesn’t offer the same retirement saving benefits (like an employer match) as your old employer.
Before making any moves, take time to put a plan together. Break your plan into three steps:
Step #1: Decide On Your Pivot
What’s your move? Whether you’re looking for a new job in your field, or you want to change career paths completely, know what you’re looking to accomplish with this change. This will help you to narrow your search options, and weigh the pros and cons more clearly.
Step #2: Do Your Research
Don’t fly blindly into a career change! If you’re asking your boss about a new position with an increased salary, know what skills you have that match that job’s responsibilities, and the industry average salary for the role. If you’re thinking of launching your own business, understand what’s required by your industry to launch successfully.
Some fields require regulation and registration (like financial planning!), while others may just require that you set up an LLC with your state to start working ASAP. Know what you’re getting into, financially and otherwise, before making a change.
Step #3: Know Your Limits
A career pivot sometimes means that you’re setting yourself up for a new season both in your career and in your personal life. A new role in a new industry might require you to take a job that is more entry-level, and doesn’t pay as much. Pursuing a different role in your current industry or organization may mean new demands on your time with changing job responsibilities. Understand what impact this new shift will have on your personal life – and look at both the best and worst case scenarios.
Once you know what you’re walking into, set personal limits for yourself. For example, if you’re interviewing for roles in a new industry, you may have a minimum salary or benefits package in mind to make the pivot feasible.
This might mean you’ve trimmed your budget to account for a pay cut, or it might mean you’re unwilling to sacrifice specific benefits that provide affordable health care to you and your family. You may find that the career pivot you have in mind isn’t flexible with income or benefits, and decide to postpone the change until you have a big enough nest egg built to sustain you while you grow in your new role.
Whatever your limits are, they’re valid. Setting limits ahead of time, especially when it comes to your finances, protects you and your family against potential pitfalls of pivoting in your career.
Brainstorm With a Financial Planner
You deserve a career that inspires you, but you also deserve to respect your own financial goals and needs. Making a fast decision to pivot in your career without setting some financial guidelines for yourself could hurt you in the long run, and leave you feeling even more stressed out and unhappy than you were before making the change.
Episode 93: Understanding Breadwinning Women with Neela Hummel
This week I sat down with fellow Financial Planner and Abacus partner Neela Hummel to discuss what we see in breadwinning women.
Neela is passionate about women taking their finances to the next level. Women are increasingly out-earning and in control of more money than their male counterparts, yet many company policies and financial services are leaving women out. Her goal is to step outside the “paint it pink” model and tailor financial planning to the unique needs of different types of women. As any woman knows, different women have different needs, and She specializes in working with breadwinners, decision-makers, and young inheritors.
Neela is a partner with Abacus Wealth Partners. Since 2009, Neela has helped grow a firm that values and supports women through flexible policies, career advancement, and equal pay for equal work. As a consequence, 50% of Abacus’ advisors are women, in an industry were 20% is the norm. Neela was named as Investment News’ “40 Under 40” for financial advisors in 2016 and is a graduate of UC Berkeley.
Neela lives in Los Angeles with her wonderful husband, two adorable children, and two rescue dogs. She is an avid traveler and foodie, taking any opportunity to visit a new country, try a new restaurant, or hone her language skills (she peaks both Spanish and Italian).
HERE’S WHAT YOU’LL LEARN FROM THIS EPISODE:
Neela’s background and her path to Abacus Wealth Partners
The biggest challenge breadwinning women tend to face
The financial opportunities that benefit breadwinning women over men
Other factors to consider besides the dollars and cents when looking at your finances
Why outsourcing can be a crucial tool for breadwinning women
What it looks like for Neela being the breadwinner in her family
Why you should use a financial planner when talking finances with your significant other
Why you must separate out money for your financial goals
Why so many women are asking what is their enough
The benefits of being a breadwinning woman (or having one in your life)
The impact breadwinning women will have on future generations
What a family needs to be financially successful, regardless of who is the breadwinner
GET SOCIAL WITH NEELA AND LET HER KNOW YOU HEARD ABOUT HER HERE