Celebrating Women’s History Month with lots of great money advice
An exciting thing happened this month—my guest column in Retirement Daily on The Street was the “top story” for a week. I’ve written quite a few articles, but never took the #1 spot. What’s so interesting about this? The topic was “10 Financial Pearls of Wisdom from Mothers to their Daughters.” Sure, it’s women’s history month, but there’s a lot of information out there about women and their history. So why did this one resonate with so many readers?
Retirement Daily is a financial publication channel in the very investment-heavy media company, The Street. Not Cosmopolitan or Elle or any other woman’s magazine. Except for one financial pearl of wisdom, my article doesn’t cover investing at all. Sure, this was about money and financial life. But so are all of my other articles.
I’ve come to the only logical conclusion about why this article was so popular: it’s the mention of jewelry! Everyone either loves a pearl necklace or pearl earrings, or they should be buying them for their wife! That must be it.
Boomer moms talk money with their daughters
All kidding aside, it was truly heartening to hear from other Baby Boomer moms. They willingly shared the kinds of financial conversations they are having with their daughters. I was thrilled to capture such great advice in an article to share widely.
Boomers are the first generation of women to have rights to their money. Many of the laws from the beginning of time have gone by the wayside for women. We’re now considered people in most situations. Boomer women broke down more brick walls. A few smashed the glass ceiling. And, each of us, in our own ways, have been successful.
(This quote is one of my favorites. It’s by Shirley Chisholm, the first Black American Congresswoman.)
The most important thing we can do now is to pass along what we’ve learned. Especially about money. We have to be the taboo-breakers. Moms need to bring their girls under their wing and into the tent. All that we accomplished and everywhere we succeeded despite the odds would be a waste if we didn’t make it better for our daughters.
And, the Boomer moms I talked to are doing just that – talking. A lot. About money.
This year’s focus on mom-advice
Each year in December, I plan out the following year’s content calendar. I look for special things I want to write about. Or topics that will be important for readers at the various publications to know about. (I write for consumer publications as well as financial advisor ones.) March is always women’s history month. But, what to write about this year?
I landed on the idea to ask boomer moms if they are talking to their own daughters about financial topics. And if so, what are they sharing. Frankly, I had no idea what to expect. But it wouldn’t have surprised me if women weren’t talking much about money. It’s still a topic laced with uncertainty, mistakes, and embarrassment.
Instead, moms came back with a tremendous amount of outstanding advice they are sharing with their daughters! The result is the 10 Financial Pearls of Wisdom article that ran in Retirement Daily. I hope you will take a moment to read what some Boomer moms are sharing with our daughters. And, as a couple of moms commented: “we’re talking to our sons, too.” Point well taken.
Sharing your own financial pearls of wisdom
You may recall that Dan and I do “Family Finance Fun” along with a fancy tea with our girls. Each year at the holidays when we all have time to spend together, we reserve one afternoon for FFF (family finance fun). We’ve covered many money topics from credit scores to charitable giving. Taxes are always a hot topic. And, slowly and somewhat painfully, the girls are getting the idea that investing is important. Really important.
This past holiday season, my daughters asked for a budget review. They had gotten a little behind with their cash flow analysis and wanted help seeing if they were on track. One wanted to know how much more she could or should put away for retirement. (No more needed. Now it’s about funding her Health Savings Account.) The other wanted to talk about if it’s ok to skip making an IRA contribution this one year. (Yes. She’s a grad student. No spare cash this year.)
The real value in having money conversations is that your children come to you for advice. When you start conversations early, there is plenty of time to build up to more complex topics. And, financial considerations get really important as your daughters embrace “adulting.”
Beaming with pride
The world is very complicated today. When the younger generation makes mistakes, there are severe and long-lasting consequences. Sure, we all learn by doing. But it’s not the same today for our kids as it was for us, 40 or 50 years ago. One of the best gifts we can pass on to our daughters is how to handle money for success.
All of the moms who shared their financial pearls of wisdom have something in common. They are all very proud of their daughters and how they are coming into adulthood. That’s what we’re celebrating this March for women’s history month.
Some interesting resources
Not all of us are equipped to teach the math of money, repair car engines, or scale mountains. And that’s ok. But our daughters need to be armed with more information about money. Here are a couple of online options outside of the big financial companies they may find helpful:
Jean Chatzky’s HerMoney is a powerful website with excellent content and podcasts that will resonate with younger women as they try to navigate after Covid and into inflation.
A podcaster and colleague of mine recently launched an entire platform to help people get a better handle on their money. The Money Alignment Academy is something you might want to check out…or send to your children.