According to the Allianz Women, Money and Power Study, six in 10 (61 percent) women wish they had more confidence in their financial choices. Almost two-thirds (63 percent) wish they knew more about investing and financial planning.
Personal finance blogger Melanie Lockert wants to help. Or, rather, she wants to encourage women to help themselves. The upcoming Lola Retreat will be a place where women can talk openly about money: how to earn it, save it, invest it and enjoy it.
“We want to break down those barriers that make money taboo and scary, and really create a community of financially empowered women,” says conference co-founder Lockert, a personal finance blogger and author of “Dear Debt: A Story About Breaking Up With Debt.”
The Lola Retreat takes place Aug. 18-20 in Portland, Oregon. Its four core concepts are love and money, investing, the money mindset and earning more. Attendees will learn from workshops, meet-ups with financial professionals and networking with other women.
Regular tickets are $399 and VIP tickets are $499; all programming and most food are included. Save a hundred bucks by registering before April 14 with the code LOLAWANTS, at LolaRetreatcom. Scholarships are available; use this link by May 1 to apply for one.
Why don’t we talk about money?
A proliferation of PF blogs, books and podcasts has brought money out of the closet. People write openly about salaries, side hustles, debt paydown, credit hacks and retirement strategies.
Yet it’s still a hush-hush topic for many women, who were brought up thinking that it’s impolite to talk about money. Or who absorbed other female financial shibboleths:
- That we aren’t “good” with money
- That it’s more important to focus on family needs
- That it’s somehow unfeminine to talk about wealth-building
- That those who want to earn more might be seen as “pushy” (did you hear about the woman whose follow-up job interview was canceled once she asked about pay and benefits?)
That Allianz study indicates that 58 percent of women believe they’re more financially savvy than spouses or partners, and 67 percent say that learning more about financial management improved their lives.
Yet as noted above, they’re still not comfortable with their choices. Two-thirds of those surveyed felt overwhelmed at times by investment options. The study also noted that paying for health insurance and running out of money in retirement are huge stressors for women.
“Not investing at all, or enough” is one of the major issues that Lockert sees, and one which the Lola Retreat will address.
“It’s vitally important that women invest and let their money work as hard as they do,” she says.
Deep-seated money issues
Shortly after I heard about the Lola Retreat I got a copy of “Worth It: Your Life, Your Money, Your Terms,” by Daily Worth founder Amanda Steinberg. The author, like Lockert, wants to give women the tools they need to build success and stability when it comes to cash.
“Women pretty much define the U.S. economy now,” Steinberg notes.
But she also points out a dirty little secret: that women still lag behind men in the amount of earning power, savings and wealth.
“Women have more control over money than ever before. And we still have nowhere near enough,” Steinberg writes.
Here’s my dirty little secret: My initial reaction to that statement was, “Well, how much more do we need?” Not in a philosophical, money-can’t-buy-happiness way, though. It was a gut response that to want to make more than men would be unseemly. Pushy. Greedy.
And that just plain horrified me, especially since Steinberg hadn’t even said we should make more than men. She simply wrote that we aren’t making (and saving, and investing) enough.
Although I’m an intelligent woman and I write about money for a living, I’m also a woman of a certain age who was raised not to talk about money and who was raised in a culture that looked down on women who stood up for themselves.
Ostensibly I want what’s best for my daughter and for all women. Yet some financial bogeyman still has its hooks in me. Specifically, it’s telling me not to want too much.
That shit needs to change, which is why I’m recommending that anyone who can go to the Lola Retreat should go to the Lola Retreat. Or at least to read Lockert’s and/or Steinberg’s book and/or anything by Liz Weston, Beverly Harzog, Mary Hunt, Beth Kobliner, Jean Chatzky or any PF writer who isn’t hobbled by the idea that money is not a woman’s business.
It is our business. Let’s get to it. Hope to see you in Portland.