By: Martha Harris Myron
In prior generations, before the Baby Boomers transcended the accepted social norms, our mothers and grandmothers seldom worked outside the home. Overseeing the family budget was tightly controlled.
Bank accounts, borrowings and finance-related transactions were denied without a co-signature, usually the head of the household. Little to no privy participation was allowed in planning family assets, or joint tax return disclosures, while unequal rights to the family estate was the law.
That was way back then. Four generations later, we are in the 40-year olds stratosphere now.
Mainstream women today may not have it all, but they do it all. They are visibly employed – the majority workforce in some countries – in all facets of the global spectrum, including outer space.
Contemporary definitions of work and family have changed. Two incomes for most families is a modern necessity. Single contemporary women are choosing independence, acquiring assets, operating businesses, possibly raising children while navigating careers. Future responsibilities hovering, too, over 40-somethings’ plans, are their impending sandwich-spread thin responsibility for eldercare.
Women of today not only manage their own finances, but as career finance professionals, nurture and manage their clients’ money.
In a far-ranging discussion with two successful 40’s finance career professionals, an Encore Age Baby Boomer met with Pearline McIntosh, VP, TEP (Trust & Estate Practitioner), ACIB, Private Banking, Butterfield and Dianne Blais, VP, CFP (Certified Financial Planner) and Canadian Securities License holder, Wealth Advisor at Butterfield.
Our topic sharing covered the gamut: family background, money habits, mentors and career development, longevity, achieving excellence with continuing education, work/ life balance and success attributes, all of which intertwine and contribute to personal and financial success.
Our mothers’ influences. Regardless of our generation gap, we discovered many similarities in our backgrounds.
Coming from limited means households, we were all proud of, and felt fortunate to have, mothers who:
- were extremely convivial, enjoyed family, friends, relatives and community events, all positive communication skills that develop self-esteem for the whole family.
- cheerfully managed the family finances, not the least daunted in accepting a thrifty, modest lifestyle in order to save for the future, assuring that each child received a good education.
It is well known statistically that positive parental attitudes towards money management are extremely influential for children as they grow. The subliminal message resonates – with personal ingenuity and forward planning, one can accomplish any financial goal in life.
LONGEVITY AWARENESS IS PART GOOD MONEY MANAGEMENT
Women, now in their forties, can have an estimated lifespan to 100 years of age, including 15-20 years of time alone. Every woman must now take responsibility for her own financial happiness.
MONEY HABITS AND MATERIALITY
No surprise at all that we had a universal agreement about money habits.
- Save before spending.
- Start saving early. Any small amount adds up: extra change, cookie jar accumulations, say $25 dollars a week, $100 a month, compounds exponentially in twenty, thirty years, forty, fifty years.
- Set up an automatic debit plan so that you will save before spending.
- If you cannot pay cash, don’t buy it.
- Acquiring things actually creates more stress than satisfaction. You really don’t need much to be happy.
Having said that, there is no single way to manage money. Everyone deserves a treat, occasionally. Consider spending on experiences instead of those fabulous shoes or that bag; out of style and worth pennies on the dollar twenty years on.
WORK/ LIFE BALANCE
We are only human. Today’s 24/7 work environment can be very isolating.
- Planning is vital for managing stress, and multi-tasking between work and home. At the end of each week, take time to review accomplishments, then plan for the next week – to keep work and family life in balance.
- Keep in mind that your life is not all about the money.
- You need your people contacts. Do your best to maintain family and friend relationships.
- Stay as physically active as time permits. Use those family backgrounds that encouraged sports activities to stay active.
CONTINUING EDUCATION IS A MUST!
Every finance individual Encore Age has known believes totally in the vital ingredient for career advancement and financial success – continuing education.
Our finance world evolves every minute, day, month, year. You must always be prepared to be current in your thinking or be left behind.
Limited family finances can try to torpedo a dream. Never let hurdles stop your progress. Make your own opportunities. The results: Professional designations: CFP®️ and Canadian Securities Licenses. TEP, ACIB – UK banking designation.
ATTRIBUTES FOR SUCCESS
- Never be afraid of the next step in life.
- Persevere through every roadblock. Keep that end goal at the top of your mind.
- Create a passion for excellence in all facets of your life!
GRATITUDE TO MENTORS
Having supportive, experienced, wise, leaders-in-their-field mentors has been a wonderful gift for both of our interviewees.
In a classy, grateful, tribute to their wonderful mentors, both Dianne and Pearline are using their powers of professionalism, experience, and commitment to excellence, to perpetuate the tradition of mentoring younger peers starting out in their respective finance professions.
Martha Harris Myron JSM CPA – Pondstraddler Life™ Financial Perspectives for Bermuda Islanders – Financial Columnist since 2000 for the Royal Gazette – Senior Advisor, Olderhood Group Bermuda