At age 23, I think I have become the friend that gets on everyone’s nerves. Not in a bad way, but my friends know that some conversations in life are just going to happen at this point. Two years into the workforce, I can definitely say I did not feel a whole lot of prepared. Although I do credit my parents and granddad with some financial knowledge, we were all learning about investing, net worth, and assets together. I appreciate my family and beginnings, but after following financial Instagram accounts, reading books and realizing I like having something to do and not having to work for a check, I realized that I needed to get a head within the next 2-4 years.
I recently posted that my net worth was currently – $110, 000. I choose to go to a private graduate school (not on purpose, I just refused to take another admissions test without it being for a doctoral program) and didn’t really think of ways to lower my out of pocket payments — good ole student loans. I did decent going to a public in-state institution for undergraduate, but my mother also bit the bullet with me and took on Parent PLUS Loans.
According to the Urban Institute (2013), Blacks have an average net worth of $19,049. Well, that leaves me $129, 049 dollars behind from reaching the average net worth of a Black household. I read “A Step by Step Guide to building Wealth from $1”, by John Saunders (founder of @blackwallet) and one thing that stuck out to me was how often younger generations or family members end up paying for debts on behalf of their family members. With COVID-19 looming in the world, the sudden revelation that no day is promised made me want to make sure I had a plan in place.
That plan included life insurance. I follow an a financial Instagram account that said life insurance is not really necessary. I beg to differ. As a Black Woman, single income, no kids, I still have things that I pay for, and if something unfortunately happens to me, I know that there is money I have already set aside in both disability AND death allows my family to make the necessary financial moves needed. Also, I look at it at the standpoint of not putting my family members in additional debt in order to send me off or trying to settle my financial affairs.
Black Families already start behind in the race, along with Hispanic families. The earlier we buy life insurance, the cheaper the policy premium is. I got my life insurance through USAA (perks of being a military kid) and the company was able to walk me through all the steps. If you’re wanting to get part of your finances in order for your family, find a trusted financial professional in your community or at NAPFA.org and search within your zip code. The great thing about this site is that nobody is going to try to sell you a product. They all work within your best interest and are fee-based, meaning you only pay for the time you spend with them.
Next time, we’ll discuss why I have two bank accounts and how I maximize them for my benefit.