What kind of a question is that?
I actually hate that question. My first impression is that it is implying my worth as a human being, a valuable person in life (or not), a life worth living, a measure of accomplishments, an implication that whatever your answer is it will rarely be enough. I read a Facebook post recently that struck a chord in regard to our daughters, and knowing their worth (which is separate from their beauty among other things).
Let me be clear. I am asking if you know your net worth, the financial value of your estate, the overall amount of what you own minus what you owe. And I only ask if you know yours so that it is easier on you and/or your family in the end.
The only way you know your net worth so that it is apparent to others who will need to be involved later is if you have it written down. My Net Worth Summary helps you do that. Planning for death means planning for life. Capture a snapshot of your financial inventory, what resources you have in place now, so you have peace of mind AND you are ready for someone else to step in when that time comes too.
Take Steps Now
And ladies, we must continually be aware that we are statistically likely to outlive our spouse by 5-14 years, on average. So you can make like easier on yourself by taking some steps now to capture the details of your worth so that things go more smoothly for you later when you are alone. And you may find it interesting to track it over time too (Historical Net Worth). The importance, the tool to use, and the opportunity to ask questions is what my free monthly workshop is intended to do. Register even if you can’t attend, and you can get the recording to listen to when you do have time (that’s a new feature of my workshop).
90% of all Women
Ok, the commercial break is over. I am here to help. But I don’t think every woman realizes the reality of our situations. 90% of all women will eventually be solely in charge of their household finances. That basically means all of us. You may or may not be comfortable with that fact. So if you are uncomfortable with it, you need to take action now, for your benefit later.
Don’t Forget About Good Health
And getting your financial house in order is only part of the equation. Nothing in life is comfortable or enjoyable unless you are in good health. My thirteen years as a Registered Dietitian, before I put my business minor to work and got my licenses and certification as a Certified Financial Planner, reinforced the priority that good health, via diet (not A diet but a long-term healthy diet) and exercise, needs to be our number one priority. If you are unhealthy, all the money in the world won’t help you enjoy life.
Making It Daily
A registered dietitian recently spoke to my Health & Financial Wellness group. Her Making it Daily talk reminded us that the recommended number of fruit/vegetable servings is now 7-13 per day! A serving is about half a cup (unless it is a leafy green, then it is a full cup). She also shared that 70% of our immune system starts in our gut. And unless you consciously, intentionally incorporate a salad, a smoothie, a focus on making the entrée as almost the garnish on your plate (and the rest mostly vegetables), you won’t get close to the nutrients and fiber we need daily for good health.
It’s All About Habits
Now, I have to say that I agree with the statement that “women who carry a few extra pounds, live longer than…the men who mention it.” All that to say don’t let a number define you, whether it is your net worth or your weight. But we do have to realistically look at our habits.
Can you focus on eating the rainbow (more color usually means more nutrients)? Shake up your “greens” intake with a salad bar set up at home experimenting with dressings, veggie toppings, colored greens, adding nuts/seeds, etc. DAILY. If you’ve committed to walking or doing yoga every morning, are you rolling out of bed to put your walking shoes/yoga clothes on? You are not NOT going to walk/do yoga if you are dressed for it and ready to go.
My parting advice is to “pick one.” Pick one action you will do for yourself this month. Use a checklist, book, or class to get started on compiling your net worth. Commit to a physical activity you enjoy that you (and/or you with a friend) will do for 30-60 minutes five times a week. Identify a food habit you can “make it daily” to increase your vegetable/fiber intake for better health.
Waiting all by itself can become a habit. But life is happening right now. So know your worth, and treat yourself to living it your best today!
This article was first published at 60 and Me – a community that helps women over 60 live happy, healthy and financially secure lives.