Financial Security: Conquering Fear Through the Back Door

Financial Security: Conquering Fear Through the Back Door

financial security, flying superwoman“So what is it you do exactly?”

“I work with women who for one reason or another haven’t started saving yet for retirement,” I answered.

“Really?  We need to talk.”

That’s the answer I get from at least half of the women I have that conversation with.  It used to amaze me, but it doesn’t any more.

After all, AARP Financial Inc. discovered in a 2009 nationwide survey about financial security that 61 percent of the women in the survey admitted to being worried about having enough money for the rest of their lives, and 35 percent of women reported having under $50,000 saved for retirement.

According to Allianz Life Insurance Company’s 2008 “Women, Money and Power” study:

“More that half of all women want to learn more about retirement planning and entry-level saving and investing … While 1 in 3 women are eager to strengthen their financial planning skills, many are not sure where to begin.

So where can you begin?

Take action!

Any action will do.  Just focus on your most important and/or urgent financial need.  You may already have one in mind.  Maybe it’s how to minimize your monthly bills.  Or maybe it’s retirement planning.  Or maybe you just need someone to tell you why it is you can’t seem to get started doing what you already know you need to do.

Let’s say you decide your most urgent need is that you absolutely, positively need to know what your real financial situation is.  You “kinda” know what it is, but you want clarity.  And certainty.  Say your best friend got someone to help her do some calculations and was so excited about how it made her feel.

Why do you think people feel so much better when they get clarity on their finances?  Especially when they already had a rough idea?  What’s the big deal?

The more obvious reason is because now they can stop having panic attacks over whether they’re wrong on their estimates.  They can stop waking up in a dead sweat over images of bank statements with bright red negative balances and people pounding on their door demanding money.  Those are the nightmares of “not knowing.”

But the other reason, although less dramatic, is actually the more important one.

The simple fact of taking a physical action (getting statements and receipts out, writing down numbers, and doing calculations) triggers the feeling of taking control.  It is being proactive … a move forward.

That action results in a feeling of greater control (no matter how small), and that control represents having some power over your life.  Then, knowing you have power over your life results in increased confidence.  That confidence in turn pushes you to want to take on another action, and you watch as you take greater and greater steps.  Before you know it, you have control over your money … and your finances are headed towards financial security and independence you say you want.

See how that works?

Here’s an example:  think about the woman whose husband controls all the finances in their marriage.  Then one day she finds herself divorced … with none of the preparation she needs to be handling her own money.  After some initial floundering as she works to get her feet solidly under herself, what happens?  She takes a step, then another, then an even larger one as her confidence builds, and voila!  Her financial destiny is back comfortably in her own hands … after having relinquished control to someone else for so many years.  We see it again and again …

It may take a little practice.  But with each step you take in the Action > Control > Power > Confidence cycle, your comfort level increases.  And your decisions around money get easier and easier.

Until the fear is gone.

So today, take any action.  Get that cycle going for yourself.

And if you can’t, or want help doing so, email me at sharonoday {at} gmail {dot} com and let’s do a complimentary strategy session together.  I’d love to see you glowing with confidence because you have the financial world by the tail!

xxxxxxx

Sharon O’Day lost everything at age 53:  her home, her business, everything.  But how could that be?  She’s an expert in global finance and marketing with an MBA from the Wharton School.  She has worked with governments, corporations, and individuals … yes, she was the secret ‘weapon,’ if you will, behind many individuals in high places.  But still, she did!  Since then, Sharon has interviewed countless women and done extensive research to understand how that could have happened, especially with her strong knowledge of numbers and finance.

The surprising answers will be shared in her upcoming book “Money After Menopause.”  Today her mission is to show as many women as possible how to reach financial security for the long term.  She has developed a step-by-step plan to get past all the obstacles that keep women broke and scared … and from reaching the financial peace of mind they so deserve.

  • Great suggestions Sharon! I am thankful everyday that my husband is a CFP. 🙂 What I’ve learned from listening to him and talking with you is that financial security isn’t achieved by any BIG thing. It is months and sometimes years of smaller steps and choices. In the end, everything you do today DOES make a difference.

    Your friends and clients are so lucky to have you pushing them to be their best!

    • You’re right, Tara. Every little action or behavior change is valuable. None too small. And where you still have some time on your side, the impact of compounding makes it that much more valuable.

  • Rachelle

    “61 percent of the women in the survey admitted to being worried about having enough money for the rest of their lives,” This is a huge number of women, Sharon! I’m glad they have such a resource as you to turn to and start taking steps toward financial confidence!

    • Isn’t that number unbelievable, Rachelle? What’s more concerning is when you realize how many are already up near the end of their income-earning years. And ignoring the problem is NOT the solution!

  • Denny

    I hope all women read this. We have spent so many years neglecting taking care of ourselves, especially our financial security. You are so right Sharon…taking that first step is really the biggest one, all the rest get easier once you get the ball rolling! Great article!

  • Denny

    I hope all women read this. We have spent so many years neglecting taking care of ourselves, especially our financial security. You are so right Sharon…taking that first step is really the biggest one, all the rest get easier once you get the ball rolling! Great article!

  • Denny

    I hope all women read this. We have spent so many years neglecting taking care of ourselves, especially our financial security. You are so right Sharon…taking that first step is really the biggest one, all the rest get easier once you get the ball rolling! Great article!

    • Everything starts with a first step. But what I’m trying to point out is that in the case of your money issues, it doesn’t have to be huge … or frightening. Hope that came across!

  • It is about taking action and being involved in your financial security, and not being scared of the ‘numbers’. Great article.

  • It is about taking action and being involved in your financial security, and not being scared of the ‘numbers’. Great article.

  • It is about taking action and being involved in your financial security, and not being scared of the ‘numbers’. Great article.

    • The truth, Deb, is that if you don’t take care of your own financial future, no one else is going to do it for you. Even in couples, it needs to be a shared responsibility.

  • Sondra

    This is wonderful Sharon. Many women believe it’s too late for them to start. But there’s no better time than now to take control of your financial destiny http://40plusandfabulous.com

    • Sondra, it’s never too late. You may miss out on the positive impact of time, but that doesn’t negate the value of clearing out as much debt as possible, getting income and outflow aligned, and building towards whatever it is you want your life to look like. Today’s a great day to start …!

  • Great article to get the priorities right; fear is a terrible monster that knows how to spin people around and around. And then there is Sharon…tadah!! the answer to the challenge 🙂 awesome!

    • Thanks, Olga! Hmmmm, monster slayer, huh? I think you give me more credit that I’m due … 😉

  • Oh Sharon… we need to talk!! 😀 Actually I handle the books, but I don’t feel like I am doing a good job ever since I started working on the internet. Your article helps me keep strict and keep going. Thanks!

    • Seriously, Elvie, if you’d like to talk, let me know how to reach you! (A FB DM may be the best way to share contact info …)