I was thrilled to attend Hispanicize, the leading multicultural social media influencers conference in Miami last week. The workshops ranged from how to fly and collect data from drones to creating original YouTube content to learning how to create wealth.
I enjoyed the intersection between technology and personal finance. The reality is that both areas go hand-in-hand when it comes to building our financial future. All the technological changes will pave the way for certain careers to generate more or less income – hence why we need to pay attention to them.
Caption: Mónica Taher plays with virtual reality (VI) at Hispanicize.
I promised I was going to report back, so here are three specific takeaways I want to share with you regarding feeling confident about money.
1. No Reason To compromise Your Retirement For Your Kids’ College
If you have kids who will be attending college in the near future, you need to start looking into the available financial aid vehicles they can access. As women, we can’t afford to stop contributing to our retirement accounts. If you have a Roth IRA or a 401K, you need to keep contributing monthly so your company can match the same amount. Imagine. You are getting free money from your company to be placed in your retirement.
Let’s consider this scenario: You are 50 years-old, earn about $100,000 a year and decide to stop contributing to your retirement account (let’s say you were putting 4% each month) for 4 years to pay for your kid’s college. You will see a huge dent in your retirement wealth. You might be able to pay $20,000 for your kid’s 4-year college, however, you will have about $85,000 less in retirement by the time you hit 67.
Do not stop contributing to your retirement accounts. Instead, fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) so you can assess how much money your child can receive in free money or loans. For instance, if you are divorced, your child will be treated considerably differently in terms of financial aid. Obviously, this is based on the schools they apply. However, there are many perks you can find along the way.
Check out THIS great infographic with information regarding our attitudes about retirement.
2. We Often Hear: Build A Savings Fund, But We Are Not Taught How To Do It
Tip #1: Pay down your debt first: There’s nothing more gratifying than knowing that you do not owe money. While that might be hard when you have a mortgage or a car payment, there are many ways in which you pay off debt faster. Consider making an extra payment on your home loan, in other words, pay 13 months instead of 12. You do not need to pay that extra month in one shot. You can divide it within the 12 months. That will reduce your loan for about 5 years because the money will go directly to your principal, not your interest.
Tip #2: Pay it with your bills: You have a budget and pay your bills on time. You have a sense of how much money you will pay for electrical and gas a month. Why not do the same and send an exact amount of money from your checking into your savings account each month? Save a bit each month!
Tip #3: Build your emergency fund slowly: You will be getting a tax return. Place at least 25% of that money into your savings account and do not touch it. Repeat the same strategy next year. And the next. And the next.
Caption: This is what financial bliss looks like.
3. Don’t Be Scare Of Financial Professionals. They Do Not Bite And Neither They Steal Your Money
Let’s be honest, we all need help. Having a financial advisor will help us avoid roadblocks and challenges. For us women, those roadblocks include fear of debt and being part of the sandwich generation (helping both our aging parents and children financially). However, you can find free financial advisors who can guide you navigate the often times complex lingo of money. While money and emotions do not mix, we need to make sure we control money, so money doesn’t control us.
Caption: National Association of Hispanic Journalists & Prudential Executive and
Influencer discuss the need to get a handle of our personal finances
Let’s get a handle of our personal finances and keep an eye on technology. By 2020, 30% of all jobs will be taken over by robots – and drones. This fact alone means fewer jobs and less money in our pockets. Let’s make sure we stay on top of technology so we can ensure a pleasant financial life.