Get Serious, Get Smart, Get Going! Kathleen Murphy at TEDxBeaconStreet

Get Serious, Get Smart, Get Going! Kathleen Murphy at TEDxBeaconStreet


Translator: Eriko T
Reviewer: Allam Zedan Unfortunately, I am going to be
discussing something you’re not supposed to talk about
in a polite conversation: money. Now as the song goes,
“you work hard for your money”. My talk is about trying
to get your money to work hard for you. And I know that for many, the topic of money can
be intimidating or boring. But here is what’s not boring. Buying your first house. Sending you kids to college. Starting a new business
that you are passionate about. Or being able to retire comfortably. So, like it or not, money funds
your life, and fuels your dreams. It also creates choices, so that choice of whether to buy
a house or which house to buy, the choice about starting
that new business or retiring early, it’s all about taking the time
to understand your financial situation and how to invest, so you create
those choices for yourself. So I want to talk about making sure
that people do focus enough on that. And some people say, you know, “Geez, how did you get started
in all of this?” In my profession as John said, we have millions of investors as clients and I see a full range of clients so, so many do it exactly right
and are well on their way and all set, but there are so many heartbreaking
examples of people who work really hard but then don’t spend the time
to figure out once they make that money, how to invest it
to make it last a lifetime. So my profession is also my passion. It’s about a focus on creating
better outcomes and brighter futures. So how did it all begin for me? Take you back to a small town
in central Connecticut where I grew up. My dad was a salesman who loved his job and was fiercely loyal
to his wife and six kids. My mom was a nurse. We didn’t have a ton of money, but we had a sort of
a ¡Brady Bunch existence, ‘ we had a great time
and we were very happy. My mom and dad instilled
important values in all of us, the importance of hard work,
getting an education, giving back, landing a good job. We were thrifty, and we had a focus
on making sure we were saving enough. So we focused on the fundamentals
but in the retrospect, there was one fundamental
that we overlooked, and that’s what to do
with that money that we were saving, how to invest to last a lifetime. And sadly, sometimes
a lifetime doesn’t last a lifetime. My dad died unexpectedly
at the young age of 57, leaving my mom and six kids,
three of which were in college. We all of sudden had
to figure things out in a different way. My mom, as I said, was a nurse
after she graduated from college, before my dad died,
she had made a career transition and worked as a manager
at the local phone company. She’s bright and hard-working, but nonetheless, she was a busy lady
and she didn’t focus a lot on investing; she didn’t focus on a financial plan, she was not prepared for the unexpected, and in my household
was common during that time period and unfortunately is still
all-too-common today: my mom and dad delegated
the financial responsibilities, the other responsibilities, the household, my mom paid the bills,
and my dad focused on investing. And while it’s completely
understandable with a very busy life, how they could arrive
at that delegation of duties? The problem is
you can’t delegate your future. I am going to talk a little bit more about why couples need
to jointly understand and take some time together
to understand their financial situation. My situation is personal to me
obviously, but again unfortunately, there are so many other people
that find themselves confronting the unexpected
and not being prepared for it. Think about your own situation.
You may be doing fine today. But what about
if the unexpected happen to you? Are you prepared? How many of you know
a mom that has survived her husband finds herself suddenly
single and not knowing what to do? How many of you
have an elderly parent or grandparent, usually the mom, who has survived
and also doesn’t know what to do, who typically the mom relies
on her eldest daughter to help her through that period? How many of you are that eldest daughter,
who’s trying to figure out how to make ends meet and plan
for her future, while taking care for Mom and also making sure
her kids are on the right path? How many of you are those
young adults just starting your careers with lots of balls in the air,
with lot of debt, not knowing exactly what to do? You know I make it a priority
to speak about this, and recently I was in D.C
at an event with AARP, so, women in their 50s and 60s,
those eldest daughters, so to speak, we talked a lot about
the importance of getting educated, and taking control of your finances
so you have control of your life. And it was interesting,
we had a great discussion but the most persistent
theme of that conversation was we can’t let our daughters
do what we did; we need to break the cycle
for our daughters, our granddaughters, they’re making so much progress
in so many aspects of their lives. We can’t let them be intimidated
or lack confidence about financial matters because it’s so important to their future. Why do I focus specifically
on women here? Because women of all ages are not
making as much progress as they need to, and there’s so much at stake. So the stakes have never been higher. First of all, in terms
of women, again, in particular, and this is the gender neutral topic,
“Money,” but women are behind. Longevity, on average, women will
outlive men by at least five years; they are expected to live
to at least a hundred. Secondly, divorce. Unfortunately, the divorce rate
in this country is over 50% So between longevity and divorce, most women will be single
at some point in their lives. What’s the most common causes of divorce? A lack of communication
and finances; notice a trend here. Now on the flip side, women are making progress
in many aspects of their lives. In fact in 2014, women will earn
worldwide 18 trillion dollar, and will have the power
of consumer spending for another 28 trillion dollars. By 2020, there will be
25-trillion-dollar shift in the US alone of wealth to women, either because they’ve inherited it
or they’ve earned it at the workplace. So women are making advances. However, there is a disconnect between economic ownership
and financial confidence. Fidelity recently did a survey of couples
to see how couples are doing, and we’ve done it every other year
for the last several years, and the results were very concerning. So you can see, women first of all,
defer to their spouse if they’re married – it was a couple survey
so their spouse or partner – women overwhelmingly defer
to their spouse on financial matters. The primary reason? Because they think men are,
“better with numbers.” Despite the fact that there is
overwhelming evidence that women are
the better long-term investors. They also… We look specifically at Gen Y women, Gen Y women are the worst
in all age categories only 12% of Gen Y women in a relationship manages the day-to-day
finances of that couple. And only 9% of Gen Y women
have confidence in their ability to manage money. Our moms, those moms
at AARP event were right, we do need to break this cycle. So how do we do that? I want to just very quickly go over
some tips that we would suggest for how to break that cycle and get people
more engaged in their finances. And I want to let you know a little secret that the financial service industry
does not like to promote. Investing is not that hard.
Anyone can do it. If you just take a little time. You need to take time,
get engaged, get basic education, and embrace that process. So I want to talk a little bit about
what you can do at different life stages. So if you’re in your 20s,
just starting out in your career, I don’t think many 20 or 30 year olds
are thinking about the retirement they’re going to have 50 years
from now, they’ve got debts, they’re probably spending
more than they’re saving, but there are some basics. First of all, have a budget.
Start to manage down your debt. If you’re in a company
that offers a 401 K or 403 B, the best advice you can get
is just participate in that program. Many companies offer
a match. It’s free money. And the other thing
for those young investors is, make sure you take advantage of free: free online resources to help you
get started and get educated, don’t pay fees, high fees
to an adviser for that. You can do it yourself
at this point in your life. If you’re in your 30s and 40s,
this is when life starts to kick in, get married, you have a family, you need to think
about college educations, you start your job, it starts to take off. So when you’re in your 30s and 40s you have got to save more
for all those commitments for college education,
the other things you want to do. You need to, as a couple,
start to have the conversations about what you want to achieve
over the course of your future. You need to start thinking about
what the right diversification is. If you’re in your 40s and 50s
life gets more complicated, right? The kids may be starting to go to college, you’re at the top of your career,
you have more assets and more places and so you need to start thinking
about the diversification of those assets and start to actually have
a more formal financial plan. If you’re in your 50s and 60s
you need to think about actually sitting down
with an adviser at this point. because an adviser of some sort
may be helpful to you. You need to start thinking about
how you are going to live post-retirement. You need to start thinking
about insurance and all those things. And also if you’re in your 50s and 60s I want to come back to that AARP event,
the women in that event. If you’re in your 50s and 60s
also be a role model and a mentor. Make it OK to talk about money. Make it OK for your kids
or your grandkids to learn from you whether you did it right
or you didn’t do it right. Help them to get on a good path. I wanted to share with you
three signs in my office, that really illustrate
my philosophy in life and it is completely
applicable to today’s conversation. The first is, “Attitude is everything.” Make sure you have
an attitude that’s positive, and that you embrace challenges
and turn them into opportunities. Second, have a sign, it’s on my desk,
says that “Thou shalt not Whine.” And so when people come to my office,
they usually say “I’m not whining, but…” It has to be about solutions,
not about problems. The third sign in my office
is a bumper sticker somebody gave me that I put on the back
of that “Thou shalt not whine” sign, and this is for the ladies in the round: “Well-behaved women rarely make history.” I want to show you a short video
of a woman like that. (Video) [Saving stories] My name is
Marianne-Louise-Teresa Stanger-Barnet. I was born July 17, 1921.
The 9th of 11 children. Every Sunday, my mother would clean out
every drawer to find five cents. I’ve never held a nickel other than that. I joined the service
on January 13th, 1943. Couple of months later, I married
the man of my dreams, Fred Barnet, in San Francisco, in China Town. When Freddie and I got married,
we decided never to live beyond our income, his income;
mine I’ll put in a bank. Just now I’ve got
my jardiniere by the door I bet I’ve got 500 dollars
and change in that. My mother would’ve been proud of me.
I’ve saved for two years to sky jump. Jumping out of the plane
was something I wanted to do. And Freddie wouldn’t go with me. I said: “Come on Freddie,
let’s go do it!” He said, “I don’t want to,”
and I said, “Coward!” And my kids wouldn’t do it. My daughter said
that she did it in Cleveland, but I have a big doubt about that. When I signed in, they all marveled. “How old are you?” I said, “90.” “Oh my gosh,
I wouldn’t do it for the world!” I said: “That might be stupid,
but I can fall out of an airplane. We got there and he said:
“We are going to go out in three.” I said, “You’d better push.”
He did, at three-and-a-half we went. You can just sit
and do nothing, but I don’t. If I sit and do nothing, and I’m bored. I’d rather save my money
and jump out of an airplane again. That’s more fun. (Applause) KM: That young girl who became
a skydiving grandma is a hero. Be that skydiving grandma. Don’t let anything get
in the way of your dreams. Don’t let inertia or intimidation,
or lack of confidence prevent you from achieving everything you want. Get serious about getting educated. Make sure that you take control
of your future, by taking control of your money. It’s your life, it’s your future,
it’s your dreams. What the heck are you waiting for? Thank you. (Applause)

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