The Time Is Now: Building Your Financial Future
This is part of a sponsored collaboration with Prudential and DiMe Media. However, all opinions expressed are my own.
Last weekend, I attended my very first Hispanicize event. I didn’t know a soul, and quite honestly, while I read up on all the amazing sessions and keynotes that would be made available to attendees, I couldn’t wait to get started. I love educating myself about financial issues, so I was proud when I was asked to represent Prudential as a brand ambassador for the weekend. I knew not only was I responsible for representing an upstanding brand, but I knew the amount of information I would take away from the events would be invaluable.
Gaining Proper Financial Education
Becoming financially literate is fundamental for making your money work for you and achieving financial wellness. So you can bet I came armed and ready with so many questions from learning how to gain knowledge from an entrepreneur perspective to short-and long-term savings, retirement, and the best way(s) to contribute to my daughter’s college fund.
Owning my own business has always been a dream of mine, but I wish I consulted with the advisors of Prudential sooner, rather than later. I was young, naïve and wanted to be my own boss. I thought I knew it all. I had a good head on my shoulders, but I cringe to think of how much more I could have actually saved if I wasn’t so scared to ask for help from the professionals.
There is No Reason Student Loans Should Ruin Your Life
My stomach actually drops when I think of the amount of money I accrued in students loans to pay for college. I was 22, working a full-time job in an advertising and PR agency, but the kicker was, my annual salary was less than my yearly college tuition! My loan repayment was $550 each month, I owed rent, a car payment, car insurance, and there was barely anything left. But I was on a mission. I was going to suck it up, and take care of my student loan debt as soon as I possibly could because I was tired of drowning in this debt.
Guess what? It may have taken a few years and all of my blood, sweat, and tears, but I paid off over $120K of school loans and it was the best feeling I have ever experienced.
Sometimes the Most Important Conversations are the Hardest
So why do I trust Prudential advisors? Because money does a lot more than just buy things. It affects our physical health, our stress levels and mental state. Prudential believes financial wellness is an integral part of not only our happiness, but our overall health. Prudential advisors not only tell you what you should do, but they actually take the time to provide you with the necessary financial education that many don’t receive in their lifetime.
So what does “financial wellness” mean to me? It means being able to say, “Yes,” without feeling guilty. Without worrying that I am cannibalizing my long and short-term savings. It simply means I am solvent and financial stable.
So Where Does the Road to Financial Wellness Begin?
During the session at Hispanicize, I realized we were about to enter the season of gratitude and abundance. How appropriate considering we were about to dive in all things money! Prudential made it a point to drive home to attendees that we really need to focus and learn all about FIRE (Financial Independence and Retire Early.) By doing ourselves this service, we can learn the importance of financial wellness, responsibility, and building a financial legacy. Key Points:
- You can take action by putting as little as $100 a month into an individual retirement fund, or max it out at $55K per year.
- “If you are not making money in your sleep, you need to reevaluate your financial planning.”
- It’s never too late to learn financial education. In fact, it really should be taught at an early age in schools.
- MAX OUT YOUR 401K! Don’t let your income be an excuse not to.
- Stop being afraid of money. Have an abundant mindset. You can change the narrative and obtain a financial path to freedom.
Show Me The Money!
Prudential cares about your financial wellness. They are innovative and dedicated to protecting your growing assets by building a financial legacy for future generations. While I’ve always been a proponent of maxing out my 401K, I never realized you can put as little as $100/month into an individual retirement fund, and up to $55K per year! Talk about making money in your sleep! In fact, if you aren’t making money while sleeping, you should probably reevaluate your financial plan! We also need to stop being afraid of money. Embrace an abundant mindset, and believe with all of your might that you can change your narrative and obtain a financial path to freedom. It might not happen overnight, but before you know it, you’ll be shocked to see how much your life changes with financial wellness.
However you look at it, financial wellness goes well beyond how much money you have in the bank. It’s about taking a look at where you stand against your goals and gaining the confidence to go after what you want in life. Taking the first step is the scariest, but it’s the most important towards your goal of financial freedom. What is important to you? What do you love? What do you want? What can you live without? How much debt have you accumulated? How much do you make? If you can answer these questions honestly, then there is hope for you.
Start with these tools
Are you paying off the right debt first?
Tool: What’s Your Investing Age?
Find out if your investing persona matches the retirement investing approach for your age.
Tool: Spend vs. Invest
Calculate how a little money here and there can add up to a healthy retirement savings account.
Start with a Plan for Tomorrow
A recent study was published and it turns out financial issues play a huge psychological roll in the lives of many. 12% felt pessimistic about their financial health, 16% had some sort of hope they were on their way to financial freedom; a whopping 37% were completely discouraged, and only 34% felt they were doing well, and were completely in control of their financial future.
So ask yourself these questions?
- What does financial wellness mean to you?
- Why is inspiring you to seek financial wellness?
- What is your biggest financial challenge?
- Do you think about retirement? What does retirement look like for you?
- What do you want your financial legacy to be?
And Finally, It’s Never Too Soon to Teach Financial Literacy
For those of you with children, start a financial dialogue early with your children. It’s a shame financial education is not taught in schools, and really should be, but for now, let’s be the ones to encourage our children to save for the long term.
What Does Financial Wellness Mean to You?
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