How Ethos is closing the gender financial literacy gap
Financial literacy is the core knowledge that contributes to informed financial decision-making. It’s not intuitive, but can be learned in a variety of ways. However, In the U.S., women receive mixed messages about how to set themselves up for financial success as business leaders and working professionals.
Do I really need to speak with a financial expert?
Knowing exactly when to seek out a financial advisor or wealth expert can seem confusing. You may think that you should meet a certain income bracket or level of career success to finally get the ball rolling with a financial expert. But the truth is - it’s never too early to set the stage for your financial wellbeing.
Given the high rate of women-owned and led enterprises in the San Francisco Bay Area, Ethos hosted our first Speed Sipping women’s financial empowerment workshop on February 28, 2020. We featured local certified female financial advisors and business leaders who have demonstrated a commitment to advocating for and mentoring local women entrepreneurs and business owners.
Why is life insurance central to a woman’s financial wellbeing?
Zoe Buonaiuto, Chief of Staff at Ethos, kicked off the event with an overview of the history of the life insurance industry. She first described the industry’s roots in ancient Rome - when general Gaius Marius developed a system for adequately burying battle heroes. During the Civil War, the nation’s first life insurance firms took root - focused once again on protecting the finances of male breadwinners who lost their lives during the war.
As women have advanced in the workplace and assumed a leading role in managing our households, Ethos has noted that the life insurance industry has been slow to adapt to their particular needs. With Zoe’s thought-provoking presentation, our attendees began discussing how life insurance is a vital component of any woman’s financial future.
What types of financial advice do women need?
After each speaker introduced themselves, the women broke up into intimate sessions where they discussed various tips for building a substantial financial legacy:
- Tanya Menendez, CEO, and Co-Founder of Snowball Wealth, connected with attendees about how to clear their outstanding student debts. She also provided easy tips for budgeting that any working woman could try. Tanya’s top tip for tackling student debt and other financial obligations is, to be honest with yourself and live within your means rather than comparing your progress with others.
- Kelley Nayo-Jahi, Founder of Nayo Partners,described how a woman’s relationship with money has evolved as we’ve reshaped the nation’s economic fabric as business leaders, founders, and entrepreneurs. Rather than being intimidated by budgeting, Kelley described how women could “become friends with their money.” It starts with being transparent with one’s financial goals, as well as tackling bad money habits head-on.
- Carrie Friedberg, Founder, SF Money Coach, led a session on the three levels of saving for emotional wellness and financial security. While money management is a deeply personal subject for many women, Carrie states that we shouldn’t be intimidated by seeking professional financial help.
- Sarah Tolson Kim, CFP, a Women’s Wealth Advisor at MML Investor Services, LLC and Founder of Girls Just Gotta Have Funds, shared five steps to becoming a wealthier woman. During her workshop, attendees learned how to make their investments work harder for them. They also gained tips for maximizing their savings, keeping their retirement funds on track, and properly preparing for unforeseen financial setbacks.
- Mallika Chawla, CEO, and Co-Founder of Eat Makhana, provided an overview of how she achieved success as a self-funded, woman-led business. Her personalized advice gave each woman a working model to scale their business without sacrificing their health and financial wellbeing.
Women have been asked for thousands of years to put the needs of others before themselves. This lack of resources and education can lead to gaping financial disparities that may seem surprising for a highly developed nation. In the U.S. alone, Vanguard estimates that women are 80% more likely to become impoverished in retirement. And according to the same study, women will have 34% less money in their retirement accounts than men.
Once considered a necessity for men, financial advice, life insurance, and other financial tools today have a place in safeguarding what matters most to a woman as well. From your family and home to the legacy you want to leave behind - today is the day to take charge of your financial future!
The information and content provided herein is for informational purposes only, and it is not to be considered legal, tax, investment, or financial advice, recommendation, or endorsement. You should consult with an attorney or other professional to determine what may be best for your individual needs.