Invest in yourself first and all the pieces fall in place

'Superwomen, what is your priority really?" That was the question Kat put to all the women in the room. She was co-hosting Abby's Money Club, an informal get-together where women discussed a wide range of financial topics facing females in the next financial decade of the she-conomy.

Thinking back to the dark days of her divorce and how her own priorities had changed, Kat allowed herself a congratulatory smile. She had come a long way, she was now free to live wealthily and it all came down to getting her priorities straight.

Kat was enjoying being part of the Money Club and the meetings had been a big success so far. Women seemed to appreciate a chance to talk money and the discussions - ranging from smart spending, saving and self-protection, to creating a second income and starting your own business - were always lively and informative. Tonight Kat was talking about retiring rich and getting smart with money.

"Your life is not a booty call," she told a rapt audience. "It's a long-term investment in yourself, your mind, your body and your finances. Too many women invest all their pennies in looking fabulous today, hoping they'll find their long-lost love, only to wake up in the morning alone, with more credit on their cards than before and no love in sight."

Kat was a huge advocate of investing in yourself first.

"Get your own finances sorted out. Be financially free, then love will come," she told the women.

"And if it doesn't, you know you're going to be OK," she added.

The women, all successful in their own rights, be it in their careers, in their own businesses or as household chief executives, were ready to listen. "The reality is, ladies, we are going to outlive our partners by six to nine years," Kat continued. "I know, it's not a great thought, but if we don't talk about it now and make plans, we'll be wishing we went with them."

Wealth Diva SMS

Retirement is about enjoying the "wealth of time" you've earned throughout your working life and using your money to do what you really want to do. If you spend too much today, you'll end up paying off your credit cards and debts for years, leaving you scrimping at precisely the time when you should be enjoying your money. Be smart now and think of your future.

Ask yourself:

Ÿ How much money do you need to live today?

Ÿ How much will that equate to when you retire?

Don't know? If we look at inflation over the past 10 years, it has risen by a global average of about 5 per cent per year. Therefore, you need to list your expenditure today and add 5 per cent each year, for the number of years until retirement. That's your answer,

"Ladies, you can all retire rich," said Kat, aware of the worried faces looking back at her, "but you must plan now. Where and how do you want to retire? How much does your life cost you today? How much will it cost you in your retirement? As soon as you're able to answer these questions, then you can start making your money work for you."

Kat was thrilled that through Money Club these women were taking her advice on board and taking the necessary steps to change their financial lives. After all, it was about time.

And as the Superwomen column comes to a close, a new chapter begins, with the personal insight and commentary from Janelle Malone - empowering women to design their destiny.

Janelle Malone is a writer, blogger and commentator on personal finance. You can contact her at for any further financial questions you may have.

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