When Should You Start Saving For Retirement? How Women Can Get An Early Start On Financial Planning

After Stacy Francis, now the CEO and president of her eponymous wealth management firm, learned her grandmother remained in an abusive marriage out of perceived financial dependency on her partner, she started a pro bono financial advisory charity to help other women out of similar situations. But more recently — on Thursday, to be exact — she discussed with International Business Times the financial obstacles young women face, especially when transitioning from the years on the path to obtaining a career to siphoning off earnings to save for retirement and rainy days. In the following Q&A with IBT, which has been condensed and edited for clarity, Francis touched on why “a man is not a financial plan” and the importance of getting “financially naked.”

Women, recent research showed, graduate with more debt, take longer to pay it off and receive less help from their parents when it comes to handling that burden. As a professional financial adviser, what’s your advice for women right out of college, who are sort of finding their footing financially — often with plenty of student debt on their shoulders?

Well, you’re totally right. You know, seven out of 10 seniors owe [roughly] $30,000 when they’re graduating from college, so it’s a big problem. But there are definitely some things you can do. A lot of individuals, when they’re getting out of college, they’re going for that full-time job, and unfortunately, those full-time jobs are harder to come by. And so it might mean getting a part-time job after college, or — even more savvy — getting a part-time job during college. Not only will it increase the amount of money that’s coming toward you, but it’s also going to reduce your college debt. And that’s because you can use that money to either pay down those student loans already, or in addition, not have to take as many loans out.

It’s also really helpful, just long-term, for your ultimate investment potential from employers….

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