Ready to become richer women? In our first-ever guest interview, Laura and Kate talk with money expert Kim Palmer about making the most of life, work and wealth. Kim was the senior money editor at US News &World Report for nine years and is the author of several books.
We talk about Kim’s latest title Smart Mom, Rich Mom: How to Build Wealth While Raising a Family, a personal finance guide for moms. She shares great tips on how women can balance work and family while still earning money and building wealth.
“It’s time for us moms to have as much targeted guidance on building wealth as we receive on dropping that so-called baby weight, reducing wrinkles, or saving $10 on our next bulk order of laundry detergent.” – Smart Mom, Rich Mom
Richer Women Make the Most of Life, Work and Wealth
Smart Mom, Rich Mom offers a wealth of interesting stories, great research and practical tips for women, especially moms, on how to take control of their financial future and become richer women, no matter when they begin or what their work/life situation is.
Studies show the average woman is not as financially literate or confident with money decisions as a man her age. Even among twentysomethings, women earn less, save less and invest less than men.
Models for Work with Family
Moms or women planning to have kids need to finds ways to balance the demands of being a professional and a family caretaker. Some scale back work completely but still keep up career connections via networking and social media, leaving the door open to scale up again.
Some create entirely new careers on their terms by becoming self-employed or doing a mix of freelance and contract work that gives them complete flexibility. And others continue to work in traditional full-time positions but find ways to negotiate the flexibility they need.
The Winding Career Path
Lots of moms pursue a less-than-linear career path as they seek ways to best balance family and profession. It turns out many of them find non-traditional careers or a combination of employment types satisfying.
In fact, women in general—not just moms—are riding the trend of combining traditional work with entrepreneurism, for instance, keeping a regular job while pursuing a side hustle.
Investing with Baby
If you’re a new mom, no matter what your work situation is, it’s important not to let your wealth-building efforts slide. Richer women never stop investing for the future. Pausing retirement savings if you take a break from work leaves you in a vulnerable position, so be mindful of this as you decide if and when to step away from the workforce.
Even if your income drops to zero for a while, you can and should still try to continue investing in your retirement. One option is a Spousal IRA, which allows your working spouse to contribute to a retirement account in your name if you file taxes jointly.
Timing a Family?
Needless to say, it’s often difficult to control when we have children if it’s in the plans. But to the extent that you can time a family, here are a couple of things to think about: it’s generally accepted that waiting to have a kid until you’ve built up a career, increased your earnings and saved money is best.
However, if you are in a career field that requires a long period of training (e.g. graduate school), it can be really helpful to have kids while you are still in school because you have more flexibility to juggle studying and a baby. Once you climb the career ladder, you often have less control over your working hours.
Richer Life Lab practical
Kim assigned the Richer Life Lab homework for this week. Her action step for you to become richer women: spend some time talking with older women in your life about their financial challenges and successes.
Learn about unexpected events and life twists that could also happen to you—it will bring home the need to plan ahead and might inspire you make changes in your own life.
We want to hear about what’s working for you! Let us know if you try out one of the tips we suggested in the show or have other recommendations that we can share with listeners in a future show.
Send us a Lab Report to firstname.lastname@example.org or record a voice message on this page. You can delete and re-record your message if you need to.
A big thanks to our Richer Life Lab sponsors
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