Tag: financial decisions

Get On Top Of Holiday Expenses

Published in: Resources |

 

Happy holidays! Ok, ok, we know it’s only September. But the holiday season has a sneaky way of creeping up on us – before we know it we’ll be setting ice skating dates and baking cookies for neighbors. It also has a way of sneaking up on our bank accounts. Hey, they don’t call it the most expensive (er, wonderful) time of the year for nothing.

Even with the light at the end of the COVID tunnel getting closer, we’re not out of the woods quite yet, and after the rocky year and a half or so that we’ve had, it makes sense to feel both excited (we might actually get to spend the holidays in person with our friends and families!) and a little nervous (how are we supposed to afford all of those holiday gifts?) Even though the holiday celebrations are a few months out, it might take some of the weight off your shoulders to do a bit of planning ahead of time.

Here are some ideas for creating and sticking to a budget, cutting down on costs, and planning ahead during the upcoming holiday season.

Plan early

Let’s begin with our favorite topic: The Budget. We’re not talking about your gifting budget (we’ll get to that in a moment) but rather your overall budget. Before you even think about the holiday dress you “need” or that perfect gift for your partner, check in with your finances.

Many of us were affected financially by the pandemic and you’re not alone if you’re feeling like pennies are still a bit pinched. Based on your personal cash flow, come up with a reasonable amount of money in total that you are comfortable putting towards holiday related expenses. Be sure to factor in decorations, food, holiday travel, entertaining, gifts, and charitable giving. Because you’re planning early on, you have the advantage of being able to set money aside bit by bit to cover these expenses, making the financial burden feel more manageable.

The holiday gift budget

Now for the gift budget. Start by grabbing a sheet of paper or opening a blank Google doc and writing down the names of each person on your gift list. Next, set a spending limit for each person and write that down next to their name. Now, add up the amounts in the money column. Things add up quickly, don’t they?

If your number seems too high, break down where you could potentially cut back a bit. Instead of buying each of your best friends a $20 gift, you could buy ornaments in bulk and decorate them. Bake cookies instead of buying Starbucks gift cards. Knit your neighbor a scarf.

You could also broach the subject with family members. Chances are, some of them are feeling the same way you are about budgeting for the holidays, and they’d probably be grateful at the idea of a gift exchange or a spending cap.

At the end of the day, it’s important to remember that it’s the thought that counts. Your friends and family members will appreciate the effort you made, regardless of whether a gift cost $10 or $100.

Cut costs on holiday activities

If your family has a tradition to splurge on a night out to watch the Nutcracker, we’re not going to tell you not to go, but be mindful of using “the holiday season” as an excuse to splurge.

There are also a host of free or inexpensive holiday activities to take advantage of, such as cozy nights in watching festive movies, walking around the neighborhood to take in the twinkle lights, or sledding!

Book your travel early on

The holiday season is one of the busiest and most expensive times to travel during a normal year. Coming off of the pandemic with an increasing number of passengers being fully vaccinated, coupled with countries rolling back border restrictions, it’s safe to say we can expect a travel surge this winter. If you haven’t already, book any travel accommodations as soon as possible. That includes hotels, rental cars, and plane, train, or bus tickets.

Take advantage of your credit card perks

Do you get double the points for every dollar you spend? Do you rack up airline miles? Take advantage by putting holiday expenses on your credit card. Maybe your gift purchases will end up paying for your holiday plane ticket to mom and dad’s!

Bonus tip: steer clear of opening up store credit cards. Especially leading up to the holidays, it seems as though every store at the mall is offering up one gimmick or another to convince you that you need a new credit card. Just say no.

As the holidays approach, get in touch with The Humphreys Group for a second opinion on your financial picture.

Hit Reset On Your Finances This Fall

Published in: Resources |

As children, fall signified more of a beginning than an end. Sure, the days of summer vacation were behind us, but we geared up with new backpacks, too-stiff jeans, sharp colored pencils and granola bars, and headed back to the classroom for another year of learning.

As an adult, your summers of complete freedom are likely long gone, but fall is still a great opportunity to sit back, reflect, and hit the reset button. Here are four of our top tips to reset and refocus on your finances this fall.

  1. Familiarize yourself with your numbers.

Summer can be expensive, from vacations to rooftop brunches to wedding season. Be honest, when was the last time you looked at the books or crunched the numbers? Take the time to review your accounts, go over your summer spending, and revisit your budget.

  1. Set new goals.

New season, new goals. Part of treating fall as a time to reset includes assessing your goals, and maybe creating a few new ones. As you refocus, take note of how you’re feeling, what you want to accomplish, and what it’s going to take to get you there. Do you dream of buying a new car? Are you hoping to take a family vacation over the holidays? Do you want to increase your monthly 401K contribution? Jot those new goals down and set about making them a reality!

  1. Give your savings a name.

Saving up for something can be tricky. On the one hand, you know it’s something you really want or need, but on the other, it can be easy to veer off course. Maybe you’re saving for a down payment on a house, but your best friend is getting married next week. You have all of this money saved up – what harm could it do to dip into a little bit of it for your friend’s wedding gift? And so it goes.

A tip to make saving up for something specific a little bit easier? Give it a name. Most banks allow you to name your accounts, so, using the same example, if you are saving for a home, open a specific account and name it accordingly. It doesn’t matter what you call it, – chez moi, home is where the heart is, down payment – seeing your goal spelled out in front of you each time you make a deposit or a withdrawal is a great way to keep your end game front and center in your mind.

  1. Stop comparing yourself to others.

A final tip (which stretches far beyond your finances) is to stop comparing yourself to others. Social media has a way of making us feel inadequate during any month, but especially coming off of a season of seemingly never-ending travels from friends and strangers alike (plates of pasta near the colosseum, yoga retreats in Indonesia, and backpacking trips in Big Sur, we’re looking at you…) it’s easy to feel down on yourself. Instead of a) sulking, or b) buying the first all-inclusive cruise package that flashes across your computer screen, take the time to reflect on everything you did do over the summer. Maybe you didn’t travel to Costa Rica and try surfing, but you did spend quality time with your kids while putting away money for your kitchen remodel. Refocus your intention and shift your perspective.

We understand that everyone handles change differently, and the changing of seasons is no exception. No matter where your focus lies this fall, whether it’s on securing a raise at work, saving up for a summer home, or reaching a financial milestone, The Humphreys Group team is by your side.

 

The Art of Personal Power

Published in: Resources |

What exactly is personal power, you ask?

So often, when we think of power, we think of people who we deem influential; celebrities, authors, politicians, CEOs…

Personal power, however, is different. According to Psychology Today, “personal power is more of an attitude or state of mind than an attempt to maneuver or control others. It is based on competence, vision, positive personal qualities, and service.”

So, what does personal power look like in a person? Well for starters, it might seem quiet. People with intact personal power probably aren’t boasting about it to others, but rather quite the opposite. They are likely people who you view as confident, comfortable in their own skin, respectful and respectable. They don’t need to drag others down to feel good about themself. They might be your neighbor, your boss, your babysitter, your Uber driver…what about you?

You’re probably wondering by now, “how can I attain this mystical personal power?” First, let us make clear that we all have personal power already. Whether or not we’re making the most of it is a different story. Luckily, there are several ways that you can work towards enhancing and strengthening your own personal power. Here are a handful of them.

  1. Do what you want.

Life is too short to get caught up in what you “should be” doing. Instead, do what makes you happy. Of course, from time to time we all have to do things we don’t want to do, but don’t make a habit of living a certain way just because others deem it the right way to live. Maybe that means entertaining a hobby that your spouse finds boring, or eating dessert every now and again just because it tastes good and you want to. Whatever it is, don’t apologize for it, just enjoy it.

  1. Value yourself.

So often, we get wrapped up in what we see as our faults. We beat ourselves up for being too slow at work, too stressed on the weekends, too this, too that. We are constantly holding ourselves to impossibly high standards, and then tearing ourselves down when we don’t reach them. Stop doing that. You are worthy, you are deserving of kindness and love, you are human, you are allowed to make mistakes.

  1. Forgive yourself.

On a similar note, it’s important to forgive yourself. We all mess up, but it doesn’t do anybody any good to hold a grudge, especially if the grudge is against yourself. Learn from your mistakes and try to improve, but be kind to yourself like you would a loved one.

  1. Speak up and communicate effectively.

Communication is powerful. If you care about something, don’t sit back and stay quiet out of fear. Too often, our fear of saying the wrong thing leads us to remain silent. This extends to nonverbal communication, as well. Let your actions reflect your beliefs.

  1. Express yourself.

At The Humphreys Group, we’ll never dissuade you from leaning into your emotions. While conventional wisdom leads us to believe that thinking and feeling are two separate processes guided by different regions of the brain, modern neuroscience research has shown that they are actually highly interconnected, making it nearly impossible to completely disentangle thoughts from feelings. It might make you feel vulnerable, but strength is often born from vulnerability, so allow yourself to feel.

  1. Live your values.

While core values look different for each of us, one thing we all have in common is that when we live our values, we are much more likely to feel aligned, fulfilled and at peace with ourselves, resulting in a stronger sense of personal power.

At the end of the day, personal power is not about controlling others, it’s about building an internal power that acts as your guiding strength as you set out to live the life you want. Reach out to The Humphreys Group if you’d like to learn more about aligning your values, goals and finances in order to fuel your personal power.

Achieve Financial Fitness Before Retirement

Published in: Resources |

Just like achieving a state of physical fitness requires time, dedication and consistency, the same can be said for ‘financial fitness’. And just like with physical fitness, building positive money habits early on increases the likelihood that you’ll thrive later in life from a financial standpoint. Today, we’re breaking down some simple ways women can achieve financial independence before they retire.

Walk before you run

Just like when you start a new workout regimen, it’s important to take small steps in order to reach your ultimate goal. If you were to join a gym with the goal of building strength, you probably wouldn’t immediately walk up to the weight rack and load on the heaviest weights you could find. More likely, you’d reach for smaller weights to begin with. Perhaps each day or each week, you’d increase the weight you were lifting, and after some time, maybe the heaviest weights in the gym would indeed be what you were reaching for. However, building strong financial habits, like building muscle, doesn’t happen overnight.

Start small. Assess your finances. Create a budget. Work to gain a solid understanding of where your money is coming from and how you are spending it. Slow and steady wins the race.

Talk about financial matters

At The Humphreys Group, we maintain our belief that self‐reflection begets self‐knowledge, which in turn boosts self‐confidence. That’s why we both encourage open and authentic conversations about money, and host Conversation Circles that provide an opportunity for women to have honest and judgement-free discussions about all things finance-related. Such conversations lead women to engage more confidently with their financial lives, improve their relationships and feel good about money once and for all.

Take care of your own needs first

You know how airplane safety videos always remind you to put on your own oxygen mask in case of emergency before assisting those around you? That’s because it’s a lot easier to help others when you yourself are clear-headed and have a steady flow of oxygen.

This analogy can be used in any area of life. For example, from a financial standpoint, if you’re putting aside money for your child’s college tuition but you don’t have a retirement account, the stress of the situation will likely trickle out into other areas of your life, causing anxiety and clouding your ability to be the best version of yourself. On the other hand, if you prioritize your retirement account, you’ll likely feel more secure in your finances, which will in turn make it easier for you to think clearly, brainstorm ways to help your child save, and possibly even contribute additional funds yourself.

Bottom line, if you’re not taking care of yourself, it’s a lot more difficult – if not impossible – to successfully take care of those around you.

Work with a financial advisor

From your professional life to your volunteer work, taking care of children or grandchildren, being an active member of your community…we understand that women lead busy lives. And while you may sometimes feel like you’re expected to be Wonder Woman, you’re not. You’re allowed to ask for help. Continue the conversation about achieving financial fitness and ensuring that you’re prepared for retirement by getting in touch with our team.

How To Instill Charitable Values in Children

Published in: Resources |

The sooner parents or guardians of small children begin to teach charitable values, the better. Here are three areas to consider as you get started.

Lead by example

Children tend to look to their parents or guardians to see how they should respond to various situations, so it’s important to demonstrate positive behavior and act as a role model. To effectively lead by example, it’s important to both show and tell. Demonstrate empathy by giving spare change to someone in need, helping an elderly neighbor unload their groceries, picking up canned goods for a food drive, or volunteering to help out at your child’s school. Children should be taught to understand that other people have emotions and feelings just like they do. Openly discussing the concept of empathy, talking about feelings, and teaching self-awareness and respect can all help to establish charitable values.

Teach financial values and literacy

It’s also extremely important to teach children financial literacy, as it will serve as the very foundation of their lifelong relationship with money. Teach them the importance of saving, spending, goal-setting, and giving, as well as the interconnectedness of each category. Learning financial management is a critical first step when it comes to charitable giving. Read our previous blog for some additional tips on teaching your kids about personal finance.

Explore various ways to give back

At The Humphreys Group, we aim to give back through the three Ts; time, talent and treasure. Here are a few ways to exemplify each.

  • Time. Work together at a food kitchen one night per month. Ring bells for Salvation Army over the holidays. Volunteer through a church or a community center. Showing up and spending valuable time for the benefit of others is a great way to demonstrate to your kids that they are a part of a larger community, and that giving back and helping out can benefit that community as a whole.
  • Talent. Another way to give back (and instill the importance of giving back in your kids) is by donating your talent. If you are a lawyer, that could mean doing pro bono work in collaboration with a local charity group. If your child excels at a specific school subject, say, spelling, it could mean encouraging them to go over flashcards with a classmate who is struggling before the next spelling quiz.
  • Treasure. It’s also important to demonstrate the impact of philanthropic donations and help children understand the power of generosity. One way to accomplish this is by breaking their allowance into two categories: spending money and money to donate. Say you give your child $10 per week, with the understanding that $5 of it is to spend as they wish and the other $5 is to put into a box for the charity of their choice. Once they have accumulated $50, sit down together and discuss which charity they want to donate to. Once they have chosen, begin the process again. Not only is this a great way to instill charitable values, but it also teaches your child about various causes and organizations.

Teaching children that there are multiple ways to live their charitable values can open up an array of avenues for them to give back over the course of their lives. If you’d like to continue the conversation, please reach out to The Humphreys Group.

Financial Wellness: What it is and how to achieve it

Published in: Resources |

“Wellness” is a word that you probably hear tossed around a lot these days, especially following the pandemic. Emotional wellness, physical wellness, mental wellness… and even financial wellness. But while the other types of wellness may be slightly more self-explanatory, financial wellness is a bit less clear.

So, what exactly does it mean?

At its most basic, financial wellness means being able to efficiently and effectively manage a healthy and balanced economic life, resulting in a state of overall financial wellbeing. Despite being rather simple in concept, financial wellness encompasses a wide variety of factors, from living within your means to being debt-free.

One important thing to remember as you set out to create a sense of financial wellness in your life is that it is a journey, not a destination. There is no one set end goal that you will be able to conquer once and for all. Rather it is about creating and sticking to smart financial habits that will keep you consistently financially stable.

Here are our top 10 tips for achieving ongoing financial wellness in your life.

  1. Be aware of your financial situation and keep track of how much money you have, any debt you have, various accounts in your name, your income and expenses, etc.
  2. Live within your means.
  3. Use a budget to stay on track.
  4. Build an emergency fund.
  5. Build your savings.
  6. Start thinking about retirement early one. Take advantage of company sponsored retirement plans, or do your due diligence and open a retirement account up for yourself.
  7. Use credit wisely. Don’t overuse it, pay your balances on time and in full, and avoid falling into debt. Also, be aware of your credit score by checking it annually.
  8. Many banks offer free services such as high balance alerts, high transaction alerts, and withdrawal alerts, in addition to overdraft protection. Take advantage of these services if you have the option.
  9. Keep financial records.
  10. Set financial goals and work towards reaching them.

Bonus tip. Ask for advice, but also listen to your gut. We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again: At The Humphreys Group, we believe that expertise and empathy both have their own unique role to play in financial matters. While most financial advisors will tell you that emotions and investing are two things best kept in isolation from one another, we believe that anyone who focuses on one at the expense of the other is presenting an incomplete picture.

Over the years, we have seen a domino effect when clients allow their feeling to play a role in their finances: self-reflection leads to self-knowledge, which leads to self-confidence, which leads to better decisions and timely implementation. We maintain our belief that financial life planning is a holistic process, and that when your money and your emotions are in harmony, you are well on the path to creating lasting financial wellness.

At the Humphreys Group, we partner with our clients to help them live purposeful lives. Through our discovery process, we learn about you, your dreams and aspirations in order to provide our best advice and develop a financial plan that will support your overall financial wellness. Reach out to our team to continue the conversation.

 

Build Smart Money Habits to Beat Debt

Published in: Resources |

Picture this: You went to college, you got the degree, you landed the job with the office, and things are going pretty well…you’re successfully “adulting.”

As you begin to feel at home in the professional world, (Hello, 401K! How you doin’, title change?) it’s important to check in with your finances. Are you living paycheck to paycheck? Are you funneling money into a savings account and hitting your financial goals? As your career picks up (and hopefully your paycheck does, too) it’s important to make sure that you maintain and solidify smart money habits, stay on top of your bills, and avoid unnecessary debt (we’re looking at you, Alaskan Cruise.)

Here are our 4 top tips to build smart money habits and, in turn, combat debt.

1. Know where you stand

If you’ve browsed our blogs, you know we’re advocates of creating and abiding by a budget, however, you can’t create an accurate budget without first understanding your financial situation. Take an inventory of your finances – both assets (what you own) and liabilities (what you owe) – to determine your net worth.

2. Create a budget

Next, (you guessed it) it’s time to create a budget. Learning to budget is a critical skill that will only help you as you grow your wealth. Now that you’ve taken an inventory of your finances and have a better understanding of where you stand, take a closer look at your month-to-month financial picture.

Start with your income. When taking your income into account, make sure to deduct Social Security, retirement, taxes, etc., so that you have an accurate picture of what your net income actually looks like.

Next, make a list of any fixed expenses (like rent, mortgage payments, and insurance) and variable expenses (like entertainment, food, and gas) to contrast how much money you’re bringing in, versus how much you’re spending.

Now it’s time to think about your financial goals. After your expenses, do you have enough leftover money to meet your goals? Maybe you’re saving up to make a down payment on a house, but you notice that you’re spending an enormous amount of your income on rent. Could you move into a less expensive apartment while you save? Each person’s financial goals are unique to them, so adjusting your budget might require some introspection.

3. Pay yourself first

Piggy-backing off of tip #2, an excellent way to train yourself to adhere to a budget is by “paying yourself first,” which essentially just means taking a set amount or a percentage off the top of each paycheck, putting it into a separate account, and not touching it.

With the remainder of your money, you can spend it as you please…paying bills and rent, buying groceries, subscribing to Netflix, getting a massage…even going on that Alaskan cruise if you can afford it.

When you set aside funds as soon as you receive them, you not only ensure that some money makes its way into your savings account, but you’re also forced to budget with what’s left.

Bonus tip: If you’re working to pay off debt, you can set up a similar system by automatically putting a set amount of each paycheck towards bills.

4. Live within your means

While this might seem obvious, it’s incredible how many people ignore this tip, taking out additional lines of credit to lead lavish lifestyles that might earn them “likes” but will cost them dearly in the long run. In the heyday of social media and over-sharing, it can be easy to feel like you’re the only one who isn’t going on your third international trip of the year, or who doesn’t have a rooftop pool with a skyline view, or even simply who doesn’t go out to a trendy restaurant three nights a week.

But let us fill you in on a little secret. Living above your means will only stunt your growth when it comes to building wealth. Live in the apartment you can afford when you’re 25, and maybe by the time you’re 35, the dream apartment you said no to will actually fit within your budget. Are your credit card bills stacking up? Turn down that destination wedding and put the money you would have spent towards those bills. Smart habits set you up for lifelong success and stability. And who doesn’t want to feel secure in their finances?

At the Humphreys Group, we partner with our clients to help them create the life they want, but we will be the first to tell you that sometimes it takes time and patience to build. Are you ready to grab the hammer and nails? Reach out to our team.

The Importance of Giving Back

Published in: Resources |

“The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.” — Mahatma Gandhi

You probably have noticed that service is very important to us at The Humphreys Group. From donating time to talent, giving back benefits us personally, as well as our communities as a whole.

Here are five key reasons to give back.

To make a positive impact

When you give back, whether it be through time, resources, or money, you’re making a positive impact, not only on the lives of individuals – yourself included – but also on the community as a whole. From donating your time cleaning up trash on Sunday mornings, to passing out meals at a local homeless shelter, making a positive impact on your community will help to strengthen it, ensuring that those who live there are able to maintain healthier and safer lives.

To share your skills

Are you especially good at math? Why not take the time to tutor math students at the local high school? Are you considering nursing school at some point? Maybe volunteering at a low-income health center could be a good fit. At The Humphreys Group, we share our skills by providing pro bono financial planning services to several Bay Area organizations, including Shalom Bayit, La Casa de Las Madres, and San Francisco Safe House. We also participate in San Francisco Financial Planning Days, which provide an opportunity for those with financial planning concerns who haven’t had the means or opportunity to consult a professional and ask questions. Whatever your skills include, sharing them with others is a great option when it comes to giving back.

To learn new skills

Additionally, giving back can be an excellent way to learn new skills. If you’ve been itching to improve your cooking, volunteering at a meal kitchen might be a great way to learn. Do you want to bulk up your resume with some marketing experience? Perhaps you should volunteer to do social media for a local non-profit. Learning a skill while simultaneously donating your time and giving back is the ultimate win-win scenario.

For your health, both mental and physical

Did you know that the act of giving actually brings up what some people call the helper’s high? When you give to others, it activates your brain’s reward center, which is responsible for releasing endorphins and making you feel happy. Additionally, getting involved in community activity gets you moving, which has an extremely positive effect on your physical wellbeing. While volunteering at an animal shelter or a soup kitchen feels like a far cry from running a marathon, the act of getting out, moving your body, and giving back can have a very positive impact on your overall health

To meet people

Whether you’ve just moved to a new neighborhood and are looking to meet people, or you’re looking to expand your network outside of your regular circle or friends, volunteering can be a great way to meet others with similar interests.

Ultimately, it’s not about what you do to give back, but rather that you do it at all. How do you give back? Learn more about what The Humphreys Group does here.

 

Tips for Negotiating Your Salary and Advocating for Yourself

Published in: Resources |

We know, we know. Negotiating your salary can be intimidating. Between the nerves and the feelings of imposter-syndrome, it’s not uncommon for people who want (and probably deserve) raises to avoid asking for them. According to a survey, 59% of American workers said they get apprehensive when it comes to negotiating their salary, with an overwhelming 43% noting a fear of rejection.

Unfortunately, despite this fear, it’s important and even necessary to learn to advocate for yourself and ask for what you deserve. It’s unlikely that anyone is going to hand over a raise that you didn’t ask for, so sit back and take notes on how you can prepare for salary negotiations.

  1. Collect your thoughts 

A powerful first step in preparing to ask for a raise is taking the time to organize your thoughts and think through what you plan to say. Something as important as asking your employer for more money shouldn’t be based on impulse. Write down what you hope to accomplish during your meeting with your employer, what questions you’ll ask, and your responses to tentative questions that might be asked of you. You could even rehearse in a mirror or with a friend or family member to feel extra prepared.

  1. Know your worth

Knowing and understanding your worth is important for two main reasons. Number one, it’s crucial to know precisely what value your work brings to your company so that you are better able to negotiate. Look at sites such as Glassdoor to gain a good understanding of what other professionals with similar responsibilities are making. Secondly, it’s important to understand that you and your talents are worthy of fair compensation. Don’t undersell yourself.

  1. Be willing to walk away

It can be really difficult to walk away from a job, especially coming off of a year like 2020, but it’s imperative to value yourself, your work and your time enough to draw the line if an offer is too low. You can decide that number for yourself, and it can be based on anything from market value to the level of your financial need, but have it in the back of your mind before you go into discussions.

  1. Have a specific number in mind

On the flip side, you should also go into your meeting with a specific number in mind of how much you will ask for. When deciding on a number, you should ask for more than you actually want or expect so that you have some room to negotiate. Additionally, you should avoid mentioning a range. For example, if you say something along the lines of, “I’m looking for between 70K and 80K,” your boss or the hiring manager will immediately go for the lower number, as you’ve just set yourself up to settle. A final tip is to ask for a very specific number, for example, $76,500. According to a study, “precise numerical expressions imply a greater level of knowledge than round expressions and are therefore assumed by recipients to be more informative of the true value of the good being negotiated.” In other words, you’re more likely to look like you know what you’re talking about and you’ve done your research.

  1. Mention market value

It’s important that, before asking for a raise or beginning to negotiate your salary, you do your due diligence and take some time to research the market value of your position. How much are other people in your field, position and location making? Look at your experience, skills, designations and certifications, education level, geographical location, etc., to help determine you value, and ultimately, your specific ask number.

  1. Plan your timing

When asking for a raise, be thoughtful about when you will bring it up to your boss. Instead of waiting for performance review time like most people, consider bringing it up earlier. Not only will they then have it in their mind prior to a performance review, but they’ll also realize that you mean business.

  1. Stay strong and be confident

Attitude is everything. Going back to tip #2, know your value and don’t underestimate your worth. Go into your meeting feeling prepared and strong. Carry yourself with confidence, hold your head high, smile and channel positivity as you begin negotiations.

Are you considering asking for a raise? Is the anxiety of rejection holding you back? At The Humphreys Group, we understand how difficult it can be to advocate for yourself, but know that we’re rooting for you. If you’d like to continue the conversation about fair compensation, reach out to our team.

 

 

Planning for Retirement as a Single Woman

Published in: Resources |

In past blogs, articles and social media posts alike, we’ve touched time and time again on the disadvantages faced by women when it comes to their finances. From unequal pay, to the “pink tax,” the scale has been historically tipped against females.

One particular disadvantage for women is retirement. Between their typically longer lifespans and typically smaller salaries, women have not been set up to succeed in their golden years. Whether you’re widowed, divorced, separated, or just single, planning for retirement is even more of an uphill battle for single women, making it absolutely critical to plan for this time period well in advance.

Here are 3 important steps to plan for retirement as a single woman.

  1. Create a rainy day fund

If you’ve been single for a long time or have never had a partner, you are probably used to relying on only one income. If you’re recently divorced or widowed, on the other hand, going from two incomes to one can be quite challenging. It can also be stressful, as you no longer have that extra income as a safety net to fall back on during times of hardship or illness. In fact, according to a 2016 Northwestern Mutual study, financial anxiety runs higher among single women (50%) than married women (41%). Ensuring that you have a rainy day fund in place can help to alleviate some of that stress. Try to keep at least a year’s worth of living expenses in a savings account, and as you near retirement age, bulk that amount up as much as possible. It’s also wise to look into disability insurance, so that in the event that you are out of work for a long time, you don’t have to sell off investments or deplete your retirement savings.

  1. Make a plan

It’s absolutely crucial to plan ahead when it comes to retirement, as the longer you have to save, the better off you’re likely to be. It’s particularly important for women to get ahead on their retirement planning, as they generally are paid less than their male counterparts. Additionally, women tend to live longer than men, so they should plan to save up for a longer retirement period. When putting together a retirement plan, be sure to consider the age you plan to retire, the cost of healthcare, where you will live, how much money you’ll need annually for any necessities, when you’ll start claiming Social Security, etc. By putting a plan in place early on, you have more time to look at the big picture and fill any gaps.

  1. Assemble a team

Growing old as a single woman means that you’ll want to take into consideration who will care for you as you age. Do you have adult children? Extended family? Trusted close friends? If you’re incapacitated, who will assist you with medical decisions, finances, appointments, and errands? Take the time to have honest and open conversations with anyone you are considering entrusting with your wellbeing. In addition to friends and family, make sure that you have an elder-law or estate-planning attorney, and possibly a geriatric care manager to assist with all things medical. Finally, be sure to enlist a certified financial planner to look at your comprehensive financial situation and help guide you as needed.

At The Humphreys Group, we welcome your unique financial challenges and are deeply committed to providing you with a comfortable, collaborative setting to explore your concerns. By listening to you, we seek to understand your goals and priorities, as well as what keeps you up at night. Our planning process has a single purpose: to manage your wealth so that you may live fully and confidently, especially during your golden years. Reach out for more information.