By Ann Rose Greenberg, JWI Marketing Coordinator
In my experience, most young professional women know that they want to be investing their money for the future – but they have no idea where to start. Thinking about it can be overwhelming, even paralyzing, and sometimes they end up doing nothing. Women want to know where they can get their questions answered. More than 30 young professional women found some answers Tuesday night, when they packed into JWI’s conference room to “learn key lessons that financially independent women should know.”
The program started with an introduction from our Executive Director Lori Weinstein on the importance of managing your own money and JWI’s commitment to empowering women and girls. After that, Merrill Lynch Financial Advisor Talya Bock began explaining the basics and answering questions. We learned about emergency funds, 401k/403b accounts, IRAs and Roth IRAs, asset allocation and more.
One of the most common questions seemed to be about investing in employer retirement accounts (401k/403b) versus Roth IRAs. Talya gave the following advice:
- If you don’t have an employer match and you have up to $5000 to invest per year, you want a Roth IRA;
- If you don’t have an employer match and you have more than $5000 to invest per year, you want a 401k/403b;
- If you do have an employer match and you have up to $17,000 to invest per year, you want a 401k/403b; and
- Always make sure to put enough money in to get your maximum match.
At the end of the night, I went home excited to look over my finances and reassess the way I’m managing my money. I know that I have a lot more to learn, but I’m glad I was able to go over the basics, and leave armed with the confidence to further explore the “scary” world of finance. Talya kept saying that we all have the capacity to understand finance, and there are lots of tools available to help us. Personally, I can’t wait to start using these resources and watch my savings grow!
Here are some free online resources to help you take control of your finances:
- Mint: Mint brings all your financial accounts together online or on your mobile device, automatically categorizes your transactions, lets you set budgets and helps you achieve your savings goals.
- LearnVest: LearnVest empowers women everywhere to take control of their personal finances so that they can afford their dreams. We’re here to help by giving you the information, tools, and support you need to earn well, save well, and spend well.
- DailyWorth: DailyWorth is a community of women who talk money. We deliver practical tips, empowering ideas, and the occasional kick in the pants…daily to your inbox.