Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Facing your money fears. Here's some advice

Dear readers,
Below is the second installment of a series of investment advise columns that I'm running written by Beverly Fogle, long-time friend and certified financial planner. Bev and I share many of the same thoughts about saving, investing and planning for retirement. Women, more than men, may need to face their fears, talk about money and get a handle on the future. Here's Bev's advice.
Enjoy, Julia

"Life can be scary.  Especially in situations when we find ourselves alone, facing major life transitions, or just needing to make changes.  We may know exactly what is wrong, or we may just be uneasy.  We seldom know intuitively where we want to go, and our fears become more dominant than our goals.
Have you ever felt this way?
Try looking your fears squarely in the face, writing them down, and then assessing them. 
The hard part is acknowledging and defining them.  Many of our fears have obscure origins, often dating back to early childhood.  Fear of the dark, fear if being left alone, fear of being ridiculed at school, fear of not pleasing the adults in our lives, fear of hunger or not having the right clothes  --- all of these typical childhood fears can come back to haunt us in adulthood.

If you suspect they still exist, take them out and look at them in the cold light of an adult day.  Are they really so bad?  They’re easy to wipe out if you’ve looked at them objectively, but they can really dominate your life if you’ve never faced them.
Lessons about Money
What did your father teach you about money?  Your mother?  Your community?  Your church?  Many of our attitudes toward money stem from these early influences.  Our sense of financial insecurity generally has a very early basis, and most of us feel at least somewhat insecure.
Is it safe to talk about money?  For many Americans, the answer is “no”.  We were taught as children not to discuss the family’s finances with anybody. In fact, in most families children were kept in the dark about this important subject. Is it any wonder so many of us can’t talk with anybody about our money?  Yet we need that open window and fresh air on the subject in order to make good decisions.

Facing the future
Will I end up being a bag lady?  Many, many women have this fear, no matter how unrealistic.  It’s the “bogey man” of womankind.  While such a fear may motivate men, it seems to paralyze women.  We typically don’t grow up feeling a great sense of control over our lives. We have to leave room for Prince Charming.  We often feel at the mercy of the whims of the world, at least when it comes to money.  Take Charge! 
You CAN control your financial life."

For more:
"Facing Your Money Fears" check list at, click here.
"Frugality and Facing Your Fears" click here.
"Nine Steps to Financial Freedom" from Suze Orman, click here.
"How to Squash Your Nagging Money Worries" by Ben Edwards at

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