University studies, licensing and articling are just some of the many requirements for young women setting out to build a successful career in law.
Another requirement that can be easy to overlook? Financial literacy.
As November is Financial Literacy Month, this is a good opportunity to highlight the meaning and importance of financial literacy in the context of a legal career.
Empowering your financial life
For young lawyers, becoming familiar with financial topics is about empowerment and being an active participant in the shaping of your financial future.
Being financially literate doesn’t mean you have to become an expert in financial matters.
However, it does mean getting to know the basics so you can ask relevant questions and have meaningful conversations with financial professionals.
After all, people lean on you for your legal expertise, so it makes that you would lean on a trusted advisor when you require financial expertise.
Financial literacy 101
Similar to law, personal financial management can be incredibly varied and complex. Yet learning some of the fundamentals can go a long way in demystifying this important topic.
The following are some of the building blocks of financial literacy:
- Managing your debt. Pursuing a legal career involves many years of studies, and often significant student debt. Financial literacy means understanding the impact of this debt on your finances – including your credit score – and how different strategies can help you pay it off more quickly and at a lower overall cost.
Growing your wealth. Working in the legal sector can be hard work and high stakes, yet these careers are often well rewarded with generous compensation. Financial literacy means understanding how your income is taxed, learning how best to balance spending and saving, and identifying opportunities for growing your wealth through wise investment choices.
Protecting yourself and your family. Legal sector jobs often provide insurance as part of the overall remuneration package, but this coverage typically falls short of actual needs. Financial literacy means understanding the role of life insurance as a powerful investment tool, the importance of disability and critical illness insurance for protecting your financial well-being, and the value of locking in lower premiums when you’re younger and healthier.
Working toward goals. A legal career can be incredibly rewarding in itself, yet it can also be a means to achieving any number of life goals. Financial literacy means understanding the steps you can take now and throughout your career to help you achieve major goals, whether that’s buying a house, starting a family, retiring early or other important personal objectives.
Adopting a holistic approach
Adopting a holistic approach to your finances means ensuring that all decisions and strategies are thoughtfully aligned with your current situation and future goals.
A base level of financial literacy will help you put in place a comprehensive financial plan that covers all the bases and can evolve throughout your lifetime.
In addition to giving you greater peace of mind regarding your financial security, it will also leave you free to focus more time and energy on progressing in your legal career.
Securing your financial future
As a young female lawyer, you have exciting opportunities in a rewarding career stretched out ahead of you.
Incorporating financial literacy into your diverse skill set will help you make informed decisions about managing your money along the way.
We are waiving all planning fees for members of YWL. If you’d like to discuss your financial situation with a trusted advisor experienced in helping lawyers secure their financial future, please contact Rubach Wealth to schedule a call.
Author: Elke Rubach
Elke Rubach is a former practicing lawyer and President of Rubach Wealth, a Toronto-based firm that supports lawyers with tax-efficient wealth, retirement, and estate planning so they can focus on developing their careers. Contact Elke at 647.349.7070 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.