Episode 110: Financial Planning Needs for Women with Wende Headley
This week I sat down again with Wende Headley, CFP® to talk through some financial planning needs for women and some of the hurdles we tend to face.
Wende is a Certified Financial Planner™, Certified Divorce Financial Analyst, and Partner at Abacus. She leads the firm-wide Women & Money initiative, which provides resources and education about the broad range of financial issues faced by women. In addition to her primary role as wealth manager for her clients, she regularly speaks at local women’s and professional organizations, hosts investment discussion circles with women in Pasadena, and serves as an AARP Tax Aide volunteer for low-income seniors.
She earned an MBA from Harvard University, a BA in Economics and French from the University of Michigan, and a Certificate in Financial Planning from UCLA.
She enjoys spending quality time with her husband and children. Whenever possible, you might find her skiing, running, doing a triathlon, volunteering at her kids’ school, or attempting to get that next book read for her Book Club.
HERE’S WHAT YOU’LL LEARN FROM THIS EPISODE:
A big issue women tend to face around money
Why it’s challenging for women to take action in their financial lives
The best way to tackle money organization in your life
How a financial planner can help when you’re feeling stuck
How to take the first step in getting organized with your money
The different approaches Wende takes with her clients
What goals clients come to Wende with around their money
The biggest money topic women tend to struggle with
How Wende engages with women who don’t normally handle the finances in a relationship
The motivation for change for women around their finances
Episode 106: How to Become a Millionaire with Ariel Ward
This week I sat down again with Ariel Ward, CFP® to talk about how to become a millionaire and some of the small steps you can be taking now to help you down the road.
Ariel Ward, CFP® joined Workable Wealth in 2018 as a Financial Planner and in March of this year, made the move to Abacus Wealth Partners with me as a Financial Planner. She and I work closely together on our clients. She has 11 years of experience in the field of personal financial services and in helping clients develop financial clarity. She is passionate about helping professionals understand their financial lives and make better decisions with their money. Ariel is married to a pilot and spends as much time as possible exploring the US with her husband and 2 children. She enjoys working with clients in the aviation industry to make the most of their employee benefits and map out a plan for personal financial strength. She is a member of NAPFA, the XY Planning Network and the Financial Planners Association.
Ariel works virtually out of Charlotte, NC. She enjoys North Carolina’s mountains, beaches and everything in between. In her free time you can catch her walking to one of Charlotte’s excellent breweries, playing Scrabble or building Lego houses with her kids.
HERE’S WHAT YOU’LL LEARN FROM THIS EPISODE:
The first thing to do to start growing your net worth
The question I like to ask all of my clients to help judge progress
How being debt conscious can be an important step toward millionaire status
How student loans play into your plan of millionaire status
How critical employer-sponsored retirement savings accounts can be
Leveraging a Roth IRA or a backdoor Roth IRA
If you’re paired up, is maxing out two 401(k)s enough for retirement
A few items millionaires have leveraged to get to that status
Other areas to focus on beyond investments when working to become a millionaire
One of your most valuable assets to help you increase your net worth
How lifestyle inflation can delay your ability to become a millionaire
What a $5,000 raise could do to your net worth over 20 years
A fear small business owners have that could be hurting their millionaire status
Where a budget plays into your millionaire goal
The difference between saving a percentage of income vs. a specific dollar amount
If you’ve been a long-time reader of the Workable Wealth blog, you know our team advocates for taking charge of your finances, even when it’s uncomfortable, like asking for a raise. Nobody is as qualified as you to make the decisions necessary to move toward your goals and a life that has you excited to wake up each morning. One of the biggest areas we see women struggling to take responsibility for their own finances is their salary.
Talking about your salary can be intimidating, especially when reaching out to your boss about a raise. For a long time, women have been taught that asking for money is crass or rude, even if your performance and experience warrant a pay increase. Only 36% of women said they’ve asked for a raise according to a Marketplace-Edison poll.
Although asking for a raise isn’t always comfortable, and there’s no clear guarantee that you’ll get the salary increase you hoped for, it’s critical to advocate for yourself and your own financial well-being in the workplace. Between the gender wealth and wage gap, women are already at a disadvantage when it comes to earning a salary in line with their skillset. This makes it even more important for you to take charge of your income, and its ability to impact your long-term financial and lifestyle goals.
Understanding the Wage Gap
No matter which way you look at it, the gender wage gap is a persistent problem that has negatively impacted women for decades. According to recent studies, women earn on average 82% as much as their male counterparts in similar roles with similar levels of experience. In some states, this percentage is as low as 49%. This pay gap is seen across almost all states and all industries.
The unspoken rule that employees shouldn’t discuss their earnings continues to perpetuate the problem. Even if you feel like you make a comparable salary to your male peers, you may be surprised to find out that they make notably more than you do – you’ve just never talked about it before.
An even bigger problem is the gender wealth gap. This is talked about less than the gender wage gap, but equally important. On average, women own 32 cents for every dollar their male counterparts own. Although studies have shown that women tend to be better savers, it’s challenging to save more when they’re put at a disadvantage with lower earnings. Both the wage and the wealth gap are a problem that women, unfortunately, have been facing for a long time.
The good news is that by advocating for yourself in the workplace, you have the opportunity to stand up for your own earning potential and long-term financial wellness.
Why Ask For a Raise?
Still not convinced that you should ask for a raise? Let’s think about how an increased salary has the potential to impact your long-term savings. Imagine you ask for a $7,000 raise. After taxes, you’d take home an additional $5,000 per year. Assuming you take that $5,000 and put it towards your future self, that money could do a lot of work for you.
That’s a pretty significant impact on your retirement savings. Just by asking a question.
Even if you don’t have a plan to invest the raise you receive, think about what it could do for your short-term financial goals. A $7,000 raise could mean a boosted emergency savings, faster debt repayment, saving for your child’s education, or paying to take your whole family on an amazing vacation.
Knowing the “why” behind your raise request can help you clarify exactly what that extra money could mean to you. Understanding the impact an increased salary might have both on your short-term lifestyle and long-term goals can remove hesitation or mental blocks you may have when it comes to discussing your salary with your employer.
How to Ask for a Raise
Now that we’ve talked about the “why” behind asking for a raise, we need to talk about the “how.” Walking into your boss’s office and demanding a raise may sound empowering, but in reality, it likely won’t get you the results you want. Have a plan in place for asking for your raise, even if you (and your employer) know you deserve it.
Do Your Research
What do people in similar roles earn within your company? If your coworkers aren’t comfortable sharing, look up jobs on Glassdoor to get more information about salaries reported at your organization. Once you know what your company typically pays, take your research a step further: What do competitors pay people in your role, or who have your level of experience? Compare your research to your current pay – is there a notable gap?
Learn to Sell Yourself
Even if you’re the most qualified person at your organization to do your current job, that doesn’t necessarily matter in this conversation. General comments about your qualifications, experience, or skill set are valuable, but they won’t necessarily bag you the salary of your dreams. Instead, ask yourself how you could set up specific measurements and data to prove your success. A few questions to ask yourself might be:
Did I tackle any projects this year that made an impact on my team or the company as a whole?
Do I have clear metrics to track my performance such as sales numbers, productivity, or revenue generated?
Can I correlate my experience and skill set with monetary value to my company?
Has my performance improved since my last salary increase? How has this positively impacted my team and my company?
Picture this conversation as an interview. You’re essentially interviewing for a promotion – even if you stay in the same role.
Consider What You’re Willing to Walk Away With
In a perfect world, you’d have a conversation about getting a raise and your company would give you the exact number you asked for, and your role would stay consistent. However, you might find that you either receive a counter-offer for a lower increase, or your boss may grant the raise but request that you take on additional responsibilities.
Now is the time to get very clear with yourself on what you’re willing to take on, and what your ideal minimum raise would be. Knowing these things before going into a salary negotiation can help you to offer concise and timely responses if your boss asks you questions in the initial meeting or presents a counter-offer later on.
Conversations about salary increases can be hard! Practice whenever you can. Ask your friend, your mom, and your spouse or partner if they’d be willing to listen to the points you’ve pulled together. It might feel goofy to role-play this conversation, but it can be useful. If you have time to field potential questions or rebuttals from loved ones who are pretending to be your boss in a practice conversation, you’ll be better equipped in the meeting itself. For your own confidence walking into this meeting, practice is key.
Set You – and Your Boss – Up For Success
Don’t blindside them with a meeting about a salary increase without warning. Sending an email, or asking them face-to-face if they have time to schedule a meeting about your current role and compensation allows them time to prepare ahead of time. If you don’t give them adequate prep time, you may get shot down right out of the gate because they’re caught off guard and don’t have time to consider your request.
Remember: when push comes to shove, your income and your ability to reach your financial goals are solely dependent on you advocating for yourself. That raise isn’t going to ask for itself! Don’t be afraid to take charge of your future, and ask for the salary you deserve.
Episode 100: How Practicing Gratitude Can Impact Your Finances
One of the fun parts of being a financial planner is getting to discuss some of the money moves we’ve made in our household knowing clients and readers are going through similar things. In these Work Your Wealth episodes I’ll be taking time to address how we approached the different money situations and the results of our decisions. Today I’m talking about the amazing and positive impact gratitude can have on your finances.
HERE’S WHAT YOU’LL LEARN FROM THIS EPISODE:
How to have a more fulfilling life through gratitude
The way gratitude can positively effect your own finances
What gratitude can prevent in your financial life
Things to be cautious of that can bust your budget
When we feel like we have less than what we need, we tend to do this
How gratitude can help you curb your impulse spending
Where being grateful for what you currently have can lead you
When was the last time you made a financial decision because you were afraid/frustrated with your current situation
How chasing dollars can impact your life in other areas
Finding the balance between life fulfillment and needing more stuff
How to approach a new financial opportunity to maximize the impact it will have
The dangers of making financial decisions out of fear
How to find fulfillment and growth in your finances
Understanding if your spending is in line with your values
The effects gratitude can have on your emotional, mental and physical health
The snowball effect of gratitude and giving
The positive effects of approaching life with abundance
The best way to avoid making financial decisions out of fear
A way to approach financial decisions when you desire to help others
Do this to create a gratitude focused financial plan
The number of Americans stressed out about money regardless of income level
The importance of reflection on the gratitude that you feel
The impact an attitude of gratitude will have on your finances
Episode 99: Are You Better or Worse off Financially This Year?
Are You Better or Worse off Financially This Year?
One of the fun parts of being a financial planner is getting to field and answer questions from clients and readers all around the country. In these Work Your Wealth episodes I’ll be taking time to address and answer questions I’ve come across from readers and clients throughout my career. Today I’m answering the above question.
HERE’S WHAT YOU’LL LEARN FROM THIS EPISODE:
Why the end of the year is my favorite time of year for clients
Questions I consistently receive as the year is closing out
A way to gauge if you are better or worse off financially this year
First step in measuring your financial progress
The measurement to use when evaluating your financial health
How to calculate your net worth
A good way to evaluate your debt situation for the year
The check you should be doing on your debt every January
Why you should review your spending throughout the year
How your savings goals play into your financial health
Different savings vehicles you can utilize to grow your net worth
A few things you should consider when talking about your retirement savings
The role a change in income can play in figuring out if you’re financially better off this year
How “lifestyle creep” could potentially hurt your financial health