How Do You See Your Net Worth?
I've been thinking about this a lot lately. I feel we need to talk about it here especially since our society is so bent of equating success with what's in our bank accounts.
For decades, financial experts have talked about retirement and having that magic number of a million dollar portfolio. But, did you know that in the late 1800's the idea of retirement was actually invented?
Our society created this picture of working hard for 40 years, THEN you get to do nothing and should be able live off your investments. If you don't get to retire, then you didn't work hard enough or didn't invest enough. For men, they might expect financial shaming as a result.
And for women, this is an even bigger issue because many of us have certain financial emotions tied to financial flashpoints in our lives, (i.e. divorce, death of a spouse, unexpected job loss), which can wreak havoc on our self-esteem.
The reality of today's world is that the days of working at the same job for 40 years and getting the gold watch at retirement are long gone. And for women over 40, who still experience pay inequality and possibly a major life event, are we chasing an ideal whose time has passed?
Are We Still Equating Our Self Worth with Our Net Worth?Obviously, personal finance is 'my thing.' It's a big part of who I am and what I bring to the world. Even though my career may have had a zigzag once or twice, I've always been a personal finance geek and now a personal finance professional.
However, my net worth is not my self worth. It does not define ME, although I'll be the first to admit that I used to let it in the past. It's easy to compare ourselves to every other person on social media who has paid off debt, started a side-hustle or blog and maybe has a big bank account.
And while paying off debt and becoming financially independent is important, it's so easy to get caught up in the comparison game on social media. So, let me tell you this. You have amazing talents and gifts to bring to the world regardless of what your bank account says.
It's easy to see all that 'good stuff' online and get discouraged, feeling not good enough, successful enough or just enough. It's easy to feel like you're self worth is tied to your net worth. I'm here to tell you it's not.
I want to encourage you today to know that you are gorgeous, amazing, talented and have so much to offer the world.
This is the time for you to define what this chapter of life means just for you and what that looks like for your finances. I personally believe we need to shed the idea of traditional retirement. It's antiquated, irrelevant to today's world.
Not having $1 million by the time you're 65 doesn't mean you're worth any less than someone who does.
Until next time...
Patty Gale, CFEI, is a Certified Financial Educator and Financial Recovery Counselor for smart, fearless midlife women who don't have million dollar retirement accounts. She is the creator of the financial program, Rediscover, Reignite and Reinvent, which is redefining financial wellness for women 40+.