Source: Stacy Francis
Stacy Francis did not plan to become a financial adviser, especially for women who are experiencing divorce. But a frank talk with her grandmother changed the course of her career.
Her grandmother, Myra, was a victim of spousal abuse, and before she died she felt “financially trapped” and confessed to continuing her marriage.
“That’s why I got into this space,” said founder Francis. Familiar womanA non-profit organization that provides free financial advice and education to women, along with her advisory company Francis Financial In New York.
“It’s really my love letter to my grandmother,” she said.
Francis, Certified Financial Planner and CNBC Member Advisory CouncilStarted Savvy Ladies in 2003 through a workshop in her New York apartment.
Today, nonprofits offer free virtual advice nationwide, regardless of income. Financial hotline It connects women with pro bono advisors.
I have an organization Dedicated to poor womenFrancis believes that women with moderate incomes and wealth have limited options, such as women starting their first job, divorcing, or seeking advice as a single mother.
“There is a huge range of women who are in desperate need of this financial advice,” she said.
Judy Herbst, executive director of the organization, said Savvy Ladies would connect more than 600 women with advisors in 2022, with 174 callers in April alone.
According to Herbst, almost half report income of less than $ 74,000 a year, and 60% say they are the only members of the family.
Herbst said there is a core group of callers in their 40s and above who recognize the importance of building wealth. “They’re finally asking’how to invest’from debt management and divorce,” she said.
Savvy Ladies also partnered with other nonprofits to co-sponsor events such as financial education workshops, she said.
According to Herbst, the Savvy Ladies hotline answers a variety of money questions, but investment questions are especially common among women in their 40s and above.
“Our portfolio has to work harder,” Francis said, explaining how women live longer and spend more on medical care, but usually begins to retire with small nest eggs. increase.
In fact, the median income for women over the age of 65 was $ 47,244 in 2016, including income, retirement income, social security, and wealth. 2020 report From the National Institute of Retirement Security. However, the figure for men over the age of 65 was $ 57,144.
She said women’s wealth needs to survive until the age of 95, and if they start with less income, they may need higher income. However, volatility often causes more anxiety for inexperienced women.
Francis tells women to “invest” to build confidence, whether they’re working with an advisor or an organization like Savvy Ladies, taking a course, or reading a book. I’m urging you.
“Investing for women is not a good thing, it is a must,” she said. “Women’s stakes are higher.”
Familiar women also led ambitious female entrepreneurs who left American businesses to set up businesses and current owners who were struggling to achieve their goals, Francis said. rice field.
She said emerging entrepreneurs need to be financially prepared, starting with two separate emergency funds: personal savings and a cushion of business that is often overlooked.
When leaving a stable salary, women need a way to replace their income, Francis said. For example, saving 6 to 12 months of living expenses, creating a flow of investment income, withdrawing portfolios, accelerating social security payments, etc.
“The biggest factor is to make sure that what you are doing is sustainable,” Francis said. “And you’re not financially behind yourself.”
Francis proposes to set up a timeline to earn a specific income that has helped her business. For example, she could allow an “x” year portfolio withdrawal before replenishing those funds, she said.
Other women may start a business on the side of their company’s work. “They will build that business,” she said, explaining how it closes the revenue gap from employees to owners.