Financial expert Tori Dunlap: This is the #1 thing to do to build wealth for retirement

Tori Dunlap is a money and career expert, and host of the “Financial Feminist” podcast. Dunlap Foundation His first $100,000 after saving $100,000 and quitting his job at the company – all at the age of 25. She fights financial inequality by empowering women to achieve financial success and has helped over 2 million women manage debt, save, invest and more.

Recognized by GOBankingRates as one of Money’s most influential personalities, here she explains why she wants to eliminate the shame that often surrounds money, why all women should invest, and why it’s okay to buy the toast at lawyer.

What’s the one piece of money-related advice you wish everyone would follow?

My best advice is that personal finance is personal. Of course, there are many great “standard” principles to follow and we can all learn from each other, but accepting that what works for you may not work for others and vice versa is fundamental. I’m also a huge advocate for education without shame, so I think it’s important for women in particular to seek out and follow advice that isn’t based on deprivation or trying to make them feel guilty. to buy a latte in the morning.

The shame around money causes people to put off prioritizing their finances, but it’s crucial to start now. Start paying off your debts now. Start budgeting now. And start investing as soon as you can, even if it’s just $100 in an IRA or taking your company’s match each month. When it comes to investing specifically, time is your most valuable asset. It is partly for this reason that we have developed our investment education and community platform, Treasury.

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What is the most important thing to do to create wealth?

Invest, invest, invest. You can never retire if you don’t invest. You will never be able to pass on money to your children or have true financial independence if you don’t invest your money in the stock market.

Women are mostly kept in the dark when it comes to investment and wealth creation, and that’s on purpose. It is especially crucial for women to have access to financial education, as women are statistically likely to lose $1 million in their lifetime due to lack of investment. The stakes are incredibly high, so the more women start to learn about investing and building long-term wealth, the better.

What is your best advice for combating the impacts of inflation?

Inflation is happening and it is causing a lot of concern as people prepare for a possible recession. Whether that happens or not, there are simple tips you can implement in your life to improve your financial health. I recommend increasing your emergency fund if possible, cutting extra expenses from your budget, negotiating to lower your bills, and working on diversifying your income.

What’s the biggest mistake people make when it comes to money?

There is this myth that investing is only for the rich, which is the furthest from the truth. Many people, especially women, feel that investing is not accessible to them. I come across this all the time – women saying, “I don’t have $500 a month to put in an IRA,” and I’m like, “OK, do you have $100? Or even $50? They don’t realize that you can start investing with a very small sum.

Also, as I mentioned above, anything based on deprivation really bugs me. I can’t tell you how much steam goes out of my ears when I see advice telling people that they should never buy avocado toast or go out to restaurants if they are in debt. There’s a balance — you can spend within your means, pay off debt, save money and enjoy life. It’s not one or the other.

Jaime Catmull contributed reporting for this article.

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