Financial independence can sometimes be an abstract concept until you achieve it. So I think it’s always helpful to take a peek into the mindset of those who have achieved it. Here are some comments made by wealthy women during a survey conducted about two years ago by Wilmington Trust and Camden Research:
“I live below my means. … I live very modestly”; “It’s the same house that I raised my children in since elementary school”; “I live simply and really focus on saving.”
If these comments sound rather ordinary, you might be surprised to know that the women who responded to this survey have a minimum net worth of $25 million, so they can well afford to live richly even during a recession.
But according to the study, there is a wealth paradigm shift going on and affluent women who once took on the traditional woman’s role are now taking control of their futures. The study concludes that they are “focused not on viewing their wealth as a measure of success but as a source of empowerment to achieve their goals and independence.” And this view was shared among women who worked for their money as well as those who inherited it.
Here are some other key findings of the study:
– Women are seeking a holistic approach to wealth management, which includes establishing internal family structures and openly talking about money, particularly with their children.
– Even though the women surveyed said they were raised in households with traditional views of a woman’s role, they are emerging with a commitment to develop their professional skills and to be viewed in their families and communities as having equal opportunities and status as men.
– Women are stepping up to new levels of involvement in the management of their families’ wealth, with 88% of those in the study playing a high-to-moderate role in the management of family assets. They are meeting regularly with advisors, reading investment performance reports, and trying to compile a complete wealth picture.
So what are some lessons we can take away from this peek into the other side of financial independence?
Whatever your means, live below them.
Take a holistic approach to your money and view wealth as a source of empowerment versus a measure of success. Viewing wealth as a measure of your success often means that you have to find ways to let others know successful you are and that can lead to overspending.
Step up to the plate. Be involved in the money management process of your family. Taking control means a lot more than just writing checks to pay bills.
Involve your children in the process early so they can grow up with an understanding of money management and they do not have to repeat many of the mistakes you made.
Get professional help if you need it. The right professional help can not only save you money, but they can save you precious time as you travel on the road to financial independence.