I was married for over 20 years, and worked on Wall Street alongside my husband for most of that time. Life was exciting and fulfilling; our marriage and family life were solid. Then one day, my husband came home from work and said “I’m in love with another woman.“
I thought it was a joke, but after a few moments of dead silence, I realized there was no punch line. BAM! Marriage over. My husband told me he couldn’t help it, he was “passionately in love” with someone else – a friend of mine (now ex-friend).
My world was thrown upside down and my mind was blown apart. Every day I had to find the strength just to get out of bed. Then I was faced with the responsibility of taking care of the household and my three teenage daughters, ALONE.
It took me many months before I could start putting the pieces back together and move forward. Thankfully, with my background, an understanding of our financial situation and my study of martial arts, I was able to get right-side up again. After two years of separation, I constructed a fair settlement agreement and was ready to financially and spiritually rebuild my life.
When my girls went into high school it was time to go back into the workforce. I became an Accredited Financial Counselor for a nonprofit credit counseling agemcy where I counseled thousands of clients. Most of these clients were women in serious financial trouble due to divorce or death of a spouse because they had no real financial education and had never managed their money.
A co-counselor and I decided to write a simple guide that would provide basic personal finance information, it was like designed to be like having a credit counselor in their purse, specifically directed toward women, titled “Women Empowering Themselves: A Financial Survival Guide”. We also started leading seminars and workshops promoting financial education for women.
Now approximately 75% of our country’s impoverished are elderly women, over 50% of marriages end in divorce, women are living longer than men by about 8 years, and over the last 12 months, 90% of the newly created jobs have been given to men. Women are in a very precarious situation so becoming financially educated and prespared for their financial future is more important than ever
I spend most of my time now writing articles for magazines and online media, developing programs to financially educate women and encouraging personal and financial empowerment for women. I have a weekly radio show on DivaToolbox Radio titled “Wednesday Afternoon F.E.S.T.” which stands for Financial Education and Survival Training, where I combine personal finance topics with martial arts philosophy and techniques to empower women.
I currently have black belts in Karate and Tae Kwon Do and give self-defense classes for women of all ages. I have come a long way from Wall Street!
Read more great advice from Diva Toolbox Contributor Hollis Colquhoun.