Appreciating your worth

The Advocate, Wednesday may 10, 1995

Bookstores are filled with the best-sellers on the subject of self-esteem, personal development, and empowerment. They claim that it is the lack of such qualities that keeps many of us from finding happiness and fulfilling our potential. They all put forward various theories and reasons for this general lack of self-esteem; and offer practical exercises and new ways of thinking to turn the situation around. Equally there are numerous titles on managing your money, creating financial strategies, and planning for retirement.

However, few of these publications, from either category - self-help and financial help - make any significant connections between financial well-being and self-esteem. While one would suggest that a sense of self-worth can, of itself, be generated solely by financial security; without question, the ability to control one's finances and take positive steps for a more secure future, certainly won't hurt.

We, at Regal, believe that the process of taking charge of one's money is an important step toward empowerment. Why? Because being able to make informed decisions about one's life does a lot more for self-confidence than always being at the mercy of the unexpected.

It is not necessary to earn more money to take charge; it is, perhaps, a case of better managing the available resources. Today, one in every two Canadians retire close to, or below, the poverty line. For women, in particular, the prospects are depressing. Women generally outlive men by an average of seven years and what should be their golden years are too often spent living in a state of poverty on less than $20,000 a year. The facts are that most women at some point in their lives will be faced with taking control of their financial future.

In the 1990's more women are choosing to remain single or are marrying later. 80 to 90 per cent of all women will be responsible for their own finances at some point in their lives. For many it begins in the wake of a crisis, for example divorce, death of a spouse or the loss of a job. The worst time to confront financial reality is in the midst of emotional turmoil. Shouldering additional, and perhaps, unaccustomed responsibilities, as well as adjusting to change, can be overwhelming, painful and difficult.

However, learning to appreciate their worth, financial and otherwise, and taking an active role in planning for the future, can definitely contribute to ease of mind and a more secure outlook.

The chart illustrates for 100 men or women starting at age 25, the following conditions will exist at age 65: (see chart)

To help women appreciate their worth, an excellent book, "Balancing Act: A Woman's Financial Survival Guide" by Joanne Thomas Yaccato, is available at $16.95. It is an indispensable tool to arm women with the knowledge they need to make intelligent difficult decisions about money management. The author says, "The idea behind the book is to show women they often don't have knowledge about money because they haven't been taught, not because they're stupid or uninterested.

Looking at financial planning from a woman's viewpoint doesn't have to involve a separation from men, but it does involve an understanding that, as a rule, women see things differently.

Women want a lot more information before they make decisions. Once they are armed with information, they are just as willing to take a chance as men. A stock is oblivious to the sex of the owner.

Another excellent book closer to home is "Financial Strategies for Women" written by three of my fellow assocites at Regal: Shirley Neal, Sherrye Emery, and Jacqueline Papice. The book is priced at bookstores for $12.95, I haver a limited supply. Contact me for your copy, gratis.

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Created: Thu May 16 10:30:50 1996
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