Do you even have one?
OK, I’ll admit it’s a provocative way to ask, but seriously — have you even considered the possibility that the bottom could drop significantly for you — if not fall out completely? I’ve covered the reasons why a majority of African-American women specifically needed to prepare themselves [and other black women by proxy] due to several key issues within the community. Now the high unemployment rate exasperbates things further.
While the majority of women from other groups do tend to have had stronger community ties overall and a more robust infrastructure to fall back on in case of emergencies, for an increasing percentage that’s no longer the case.
Women have been abandoned, widowed, divorced or become ill without warning, having no back-up plan in place. Economic empowerment is imperative.
With the diminishing economy even the obfuscators are losing steam in trying to deny that this “temporary recession” is far worse than their magical thinking supports. On top of that international upheaval amongst the members of the E.U. and our own gov’t shenanigans in not addressing debt, taxation or enacting true accountability will give way to a reckoning.
Of course that means they will look to ^&%$# you over if you are not part of a protected class, the elite, have multiple streams of income, international access or are otherwise the exception and can move held assets. I don’t care what these politicians are saying. This is about
stealing transferring wealth to others. We can’t rely on having Social Security or Medicare, the much-ballyhooed Healthcare plan, or that any such coverage will meet escalating costs or beat rates of inflation.
I’m mentioning this so the proactive will make a move to protect themselves. Don’t get caught out there. I say this as someone who has worked for ad agencies, record labels and finance companies that are gone. No one ever thinks it’ll be them drawing the short end of the stick.
No one else will care about your finances [life, health, etc.] as much as you do. We earn less, live longer, and spend more time in and out of the workforce caring for a family.We also cannot rely solely on men, though I will always encourage women to make patriarchy work for them and find a mate who can provide for and protect them versus going it alone.
House Hunters International has had a series of shows featuring women who’ve moved to Budapest, the UAE and other far-flung places when their husbands were offered bigger career opportunities. Some of them took pains to mention they had to give up their jobs and I found myself feeling less sympathetic when I saw the homes they chose. Their marriages seemed valuable enough for them to go, so why complain?
You don’t want to end up aged out of the workforce or too unhealthy to earn a living AND alone or without adequate support.
Which brings me to Season 4 of Sex and the City. When Adian left for good and Carrie had 30 days to buy back her apartment from him before it went on the market. Until then she’d been happily trotting along maxing out her credit cards for designer duds, particularly shoes. Pricey, impractical and gorgeous shoes. When it came time for her to add up her portfolio, reality hit. She was broke.
She only had to come up with $30K to purchase her rent-controlled studio and she could still get a mortgage? Okay, this was 2004. But…really? That’s television for ya. They wanted to give a slight nudge, but mostly allow our plucky heroine [and the audience] a wide berth. Carrie was not allowed to be poor or suffer any real setbacks — financially anyway. Her pocketbook may have taken a hit, but it was still a Fendi.
She ran in certain circles afterall, and it was revealed her closest friends had significant savings to match their posher lifestyles. They were willing and able to bail her out. Charlotte gave Carrie her MacDougal-era wedding ring to sell [remember her $15K Vera Wang gown?!] so she could make the down payment.
The only person who we’ve seen having less resources being produced is Miranda by the way. That’s because she married down.
I look back and I know I’ve made mistakes. I’ve had never-worn shoes and clothes in storage because I was in a smaller space. In my mind it was temporary. I was supposed to be prosperous and have it all. Mindless spending – like mindless eating will not fill an emotional void or add character.
Indeed, more than 70% of Americans live paycheck to paycheck. During ‘better’ economic times, a person was probably more likely to get away with it if they remained healthy. The lack of stability still needed to be acknowledged and resolved. Remember Oprah’s Debt Diet series from a few years ago? I bet those families are so glad they addressed things then. Can you imagine trying to tackle them now? It would be so much more painful.
Around this time Oppenheimer Fund conducted an opinion poll on women’s spending. The women who participated were in their mid-20’s to mid-30’s. They felt entitled to shoes [we’re talking the $400+++ kind] instead of saving because society at large — well Western society anyway — tells us it’s okay.
You’ve heard the siren call: you deserve x, y, z. Don’t worry about it now. Go have another cookie. Just like the ridiculous notion women can have sex like men with minimal consequence, you can spot the patterns and realize we have been lied to by those with certain interests. As always we must evaluate the costs and benefits for what will work best for us as individuals and not be roped into OPAs [Other People’s Agendas].
Here’s an investment strategy report worth perusing. Read it pronto! I like my gadgets and accessories as much as the next person. I appreciate good food and engaging in world travel. I also support being socially active, joining clubs and groups. As women it is advantageous to look and feel our best, but choosing things over people is a poor reflection of character. It speaks volumes about our
lack of values and the extremism of individuality that eschews community-building and sacrifice for others.
It’s not sexy or fun to discuss the downside of any situation or confront our collective sense of entitlement. Nor is it effective to bury your head in the sand to avoid challenges. We can pay now or pay later but the Reaper always collects. We can plan ahead or plan for failure based on our beliefs and actions.