Are You A Woman of Independent Means?
Posted by Gail | Filed under Take Control
One of the questions I’m asked most often when being interviewed for It’s Your Money: Becoming a Woman of Independent Means is why I wrote a book specifically for women?
No, money doesn’t have a gender preference. Nor are men or women smarter or dumber about money
But women do face some unique circumstances in their lives.
Women live longer. We outlive men by about 7 years.
Women more often leave the work force to have and care for children. And they are the primary caregivers to other family members too. There are all the women looking after not only their own parents, but also their in-laws. There’s the woman who puts her business on hold for a year while she move in with her brother’s family to help him die at home. And there’s the woman who takes time off work every week so she’s available to help her father as he cares for her mother with Alzheimers.
When a woman and a man divorce, his standard of living most often goes up while hers goes down. This is closely related to the next fact…
Women head more single family households than do men.
As women we need to stop sticking our heads in the sand and face up to the reality that we must be independent. We must be capable and willing to take care of ourselves. We must be an island, and then a peninsula.
If you are not strong on your own, how can you be strong in a relationship? Gone are the days when women can count on getting married and being taken care of for their rest of their lives. Anyone still living with that illusion needs to wake up and smell the coffee.
You have the option of setting your own rules for your life. But before you can do that, you must figure out what you really, really want. Not what you think you want: a big house, a fancy car, to travel to the sun every winter. What you really want, the things that will truly make you happy.
When I was first offered the hosting job on TDDUP, one thing I knew for sure was that I didn’t want to spend too much time away from my family. I was very up-front and said that I was only available to shoot 2 days a week. I was told it couldn’t be done. They needed a four-day commitment. I walked away. I stuck to my two-day statement and said buh-bye to a career in TV. I KNEW what was really important to me.
They adjusted the schedule and the rest is history. To this day I hear that you can’t make a TV show shooting just two days a week, but I’ve been doing it for almost eight years. Back at the beginning, I wasn’t a big shit. Nobody knew me from Adam when it came to being a TV host. I had no “right” to demand anything. And so I didn’t demand anything. I just made it clear that my two-day issue wasn’t a bluff or a pretense or an attempt to manipulate. It was what I really, really wanted. And I was prepared to live with the consequences.
One of the reasons I could walk away from a potentially lucrative career was that I had all my financial I’s dotted and T’s crossed. I had enough money in the bank to see me through to whatever my next job would be. And I knew what my priorities were. Not shoes or vacations or fancy dinners out. Options. Like the option to walk away from a job if it conflicted with what I really, really wanted.
So what do you really, really want? And what have you been prepared to give up to have what you really, really want?