Our Top Takeaways: Manisha Thakor on Financial Health and Power

MoneyZen_Homepage_bannerWe get it. Fall is a really busy season. If you missed Take The Lead’s virtual happy hour in October with women and investing expert, Manisha Thakor, not to fear. Read on for the highlights and takeaways from our conversation with Manisha on how to make smart money moves for financial health and power below.On how to think about money:

  • Why is Manisha Thakor herself so passionate about women’s financial literacy in the first place? Looking at your money head on is part of self-care. “I see too many women who – through no fault of their own – never got good financial lessons and have a ton of tension around money,” she says.
  • Once your basic needs are met, aim to get your money in alignment with what really matters to you.
  • If you’re always looking to acquire more money, you’re not present; you’re in state of resistance, not power. More than that, not only do most of us live outside our means, we’re bombarded all the time by images of high spending in the media.
  • Worried about not having enough money? Again, once your basic needs are met, remember, there is NO correllation between money and happiness. When you think of money as where you’ve spent your energy and what really brings you joy, you’ll make new and different money decisions. It’s about defining what true wealth means to you.
  • In the end, healthy financial habits are about making your money for work for you, not feeling like it’s a barrier being held OVER you.

 On how to make your money work for you at different stages of your career:

  • Your early career and salary negotiation decisions hugely affect your life later on, so women must ask for what we are worth. Far more than you’d expect, you’ll get more than you think when you ask. (Need help? Check out our Close the Gap App and She Negotiates).
  • Manisha’s single best advice for women in early career? Don’t “live like everyone else.” Learn to live within your means!
  • Taking care of your money is about knowing what’s going on with it, defining where you want to go, then closing that gap. To do this, you need to look at your money head on.
  • Her best advice at mid-career? Maximize your investment opportunities. If you’re working for a company with generous offerings, are you really taking advantage of your company’s full benefits?
  • In mid-life with all things financial health, especially if you’re caring for others financially, “put your oxygen mask on first.”
  • The 10 years leading up to retirement and first 10 years into retirement are one of the most important financial periods in your life, Manisha says! In your retirement years, she says get serious about spending your money in a way that maximizes your
  • When working with financial advisors to help you invest, Manisha recommends working with firms that adhere to a fiduciary (versus suitability) standard.” This requires advisors to put their client’s interests above their own. There’s no one standard all financial advisors adhere, too, so be careful!

 What’s the connection between money, gender equity, and gender parity in leadership?

  • Women on average lose 1/2 million up to 1 million+ over lifetime simply due to not negotiating. Women earn less on the dollar, spend more time out of workforce, and tend to care financially more for others.
  • Financial services is primarily designed and run by men! If you see a system that isn’t working for you, Manisha says, remember this may have something to do with it!
  • How are women and men different around money? We have plenty of research now to show that women and men have equal levels of knowledge around finance, but there’s a huge gap in confidence when it comes to how women approach their money (which is why we must change our relationship to money and make it work for us!)

 bio_graphic_manisha_thakor1-300x233Our key take-aways?Manisha meets so many women who say there’s just so much more to life than money, and they really don’t want to live a life focused on money and wealth. Fair enough. But here’s the thing, “Ignoring your money is a guaranteed way to lead a negatively money-centered life,” she says, “because not knowing what’s going with it limits you.” When you use your power to look at your money head on, you can finally do something about it.Resources:Manisha Thakor’s Defining True Wealth WorksheetGoGirl FinanceShe NegotiatesMoneyZenBAM AllianceCLOSE THE GAP APPBooks:The Ultimate Lifetime Money Plan by Elizabeth Warren and Amelia Warren TyagiEarn It, learn it: Teach Your Child the Value of Money, Work, and Time Well Spent by Alisa T. WeinsteinCan I Retire? by Mike Piper, CPA