In 2006, Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America first commissioned The Allianz Women, Money and Power Study (2013) in an attempt to better understand the unique relationship we women have with our finances.
Here’s what they discovered:
- 48% of women earning $100K+ fear becoming a bag lady.
- 46% of all women fear becoming a bag lady.
- 90% of all women feel financially insecure.
- 3% of editorial content in women’s magazines is dedicated to the subject of personal finance.
One out of two of us are frightened to death that our pockets will be empty—and we won’t have any way to refill them.
Yes, we know that this is irrational thinking; nonetheless, we still go to bed at night dreading the thought of waking up penniless, homeless, and powerless.
The Allianz study revealed that our anxiety is attributable to a number of significant social influences:
- Women live as much as one third of their lives in retirement
- Women can’t rely on social security anymore
- Women outlive men by an average of seven years
- Divorce rate projections exceed 50 percent
- Women lack financial education
Each one of these cultural anxieties results from women placing their financial health in the hands of the man in their life, whether it is their husband, their father, or even the government.
The legitimacy and impact of the conclusions drawn from this study are undeniable. But they are not the whole story.
The issues are much deeper and more organic than these sociological factors would suggest, and they are symptomatic of a more systemic and pervasive phenomenon which is…..
The relationship women have with their personal power.
Q: Have you ever wondered why so many women have a convoluted, emotionally drenched relationship with their finances?
A: It is for the very same reason that we ceaselessly wrestle with our personal power.
“What we do with our money is what we do with our power.” –Solomonism # 198
The implication? Whatever it is that you want to create in your life is primarily reliant on your core relationship with yourself, and with your personal power.
Yes, The Allianz Study’s explanation for how women manage their money is based in logic. And… when we use these ‘explanations’ as excuses for not strengthening the relationship we have with money, we automatically diminish our personal power and ability to have a positive impact.
If anything, this study is a wake-up call, a veritable report card indicating where we need to focus our emotional and mental resources.
We women often attribute our success to the hard work of others, plain good luck, and fortunate circumstances. In other words, we don’t “own” our personal power and what we create with it. As a result, we don’t own our earning power nor do we feel responsible for it. Someone gave us the money and someone can take it away…
And voilà—we are bag ladies!
You can be assured that we are much less likely to succumb to bag lady status when we build our inner wealth—the internal resources we need to be fully empowered. Here are some practical ideas to assist you to make some hefty deposits in your invincibility account:
- Surround yourself with people who already have what you want: In this case, financial wealth and freedom. Ask questions that will empower you to empower yourself.
- You taught yourself how to salsa, sing, and sew, which means you’re also smart enough to learn how to read a balance sheet and a profit and loss statement.
- Now that it is no longer a secret that so many women have a less than ideal relationship with money, many fabulous resources have become available. Books, classes, and seminars will educate you and help you build a new network of financially savvy friends.
- Your net worth is not your self-worth. Your self-worth has far more value than any number in your bank account. Take a personal inventory of your beliefs, values, and goals with as much enthusiasm as you have for ordering shoes online or take-out sushi. Then come up with a strategy more concrete than just hoping that your financial situation will work itself out.
- Repeat this personal empowerment mantra until you don’t need to: “If it’s to be, it’s up to me.”
Periodically you will have relapses where you envision yourself in a filthy house dress, wearing rolled-to-the-ankle stockings and being asphyxiated by the plastic bags overflowing from your shopping cart – the very same cart that pulls up to your mental curb and defies you to send it away–do that!
PLEASE SHARE: How have you transformed your relationship with money? It is friend or foe? What practices have you put in place that has financially empowered you?
PS You do know that I’m not, in any way, making light of our homeless population, don’t you? Just to be sure, I wanted to say it.