I embarked on my first career as a teacher in a poverty-stricken area of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in 1974. My hope and dream was to help each student embrace education as a fundamental life tool. With this multi-faceted tool, I reasoned, the door to opportunity would begin to open for them. Poverty could be left behind.
I quickly learned that my formula for social change was simplistic. No matter how crucial education was, it wasn’t enough. My students needed other fundamental tools; tools that went beyond what I could hope to impart in my role as teacher. They needed confidence in their ability to create a different life and the intention to pursue it.
My commitment to creating a better life for myself, better than the one I had experienced in my youth, was tested in my early forties when my husband was diagnosed with cancer. What a wake-up call. My thoughts raced. “If he isn’t here anymore, would I need to make any major changes such as pursuing a different career?” It was terrifying to consider his illness and the possible consequences. But my fear became exponentially greater as it dawned on me that it was time for me to move on from public school teaching.
Fortunately during that time I did not suffer from financial fear because I had been investing in a supplemental retirement plan for about twenty years prior to my husband’s illness. While I had no idea what the future held, I did know I had funds set aside to help me bridge the income gap I was likely to experience while becoming established in a new career.
As I reflected on next steps for me I realized that money, just like education, is a basic life tool. But as I learned during my teaching career, to experience the full benefits of a basic life tool, one needs confidence in one’s ability to use it effectively as well as the intention to do so. My calling became clear: I wanted to become a financial planner to help others make the right choices at pivotal times in their lives without financial concerns, just as I had been able to do.
For most of us, making the right choices is a balancing act. Not only are we faced with balancing our values, needs, and interests, but our choices are complicated by the need to balance all of this within the context of our whole style of living. Balancing Act: Wealth Management Straight Talk for Women tells the story of many women. It records the choices they faced, the life balance for which they aimed, and the results they experienced.
Contact me today to start a conversation about your intention to make the right financial choices–within the context of your whole style of living.