Understanding your finances at menopause is important because you want to know that when you are ready to retire you will still be able to thrive. Not only is there still a gender pay gap, the gender pension gap in the UK in 2018 was 40.3%. That gap is partly due to the decisions women make related to their fertility such as taking maternity leave, and working part time to deal with childcare. It is also due to the decisions women take at menopause to deal with their symptoms. 25% of women consider quitting their jobs at menopause, leaving behind well-paid careers and pension plans.
My guest on the Hot Women Rock Radio Show this week is Ellen Kocher, an Economist and Certified Workplace Wellness Consultant. She is the Co-Leader ICF Community of Practice HWC. Educated in the USA, she has lived in Switzerland for over 30 years.
Following 10 years in the Finance Industry, Ellen understands the challenges of a busy working lifestyle. Through her company, Whealthness, she has dedicated the past 15 years to nutrition and workplace wellness promoting a non-diet, mindfulness-based approach to eating, physical activity, holistic health, and self-care
Ellen was educated in the USA and had an early career working as an economist in the financial sector. She moved to Switzerland to learn French.
“While I was in Switzerland, I was sought out by the finance industry and became a management consultant for a large corporate consultancy. I had a very busy traveling lifestyle and was close to becoming a partner in the business.
Then I had my babies and after the third baby I had a mindset shift. I looked in the mirror and didn’t feel like what I saw there corresponded to the person I was before. I decided to lose weight and I secretly joined Weight Watchers without telling my husband or friends. I lost 25kg and the organisation reached out to me to ask if I would like to lead their workplace wellness team. My first client was the World Health Organisation in Geneva. I stayed in that role for about nine years.
Then I had a second kind of an epiphany and that was twofold. First I recognized that workplaces needed more than weight management. Many things were important that weight loss was not answering and not only that, but many of the people that were losing weight would regain it. Also, on the aging spectrum, people’s bodies would change and they wouldn’t adjust to that with what they were eating. They tried to apply the same rules and it just didn’t work.
So, I left that role. It didn’t fit anymore and I wasn’t feeling authentic in the work I was doing. But I didn’t know what business I was going to create until somebody said to me, ‘You walk the talk, you can’t do something different’. When you find your mission, your passion, your purpose, you know it’s right.
I set up Wealthness in 2013. It was born through the observation and understanding that a fulfilling life at home and at work depend upon personal empowerment and resilience, beginning with self-care and that one of the best places to provide this is in the workplace. I have coached hundreds of individuals and groups in dozens of organizations to make sustainable lifestyle changes empowering them to go from knowing what to do to actually doing it!
In 2021 I co-wrote Wake-up, Shake-up Thrive: How to Lift Up Your Life in Your 50’s and Beyond – Swiss Secrets to Not Growing old” with Dominique Ben Dhaou. We believe that a harmonious personal journey requires an approach that elevates all Dimensions of well-being. When one shifts, the others turn too, like the Gears of a watch. This book shows you how to calibrate each of these Gears, so you can take full charge of your life and run it with the precision of a Swiss watch.”
Ellen’s Top Tips for Financial Clarity
- Take stock of where you are. Create a spreadsheet that records your income and outgoings so that you understand the current state of your finances. Counting counts!
- Talk about money. Sit down with your spouse or partner and discuss your finances. Identify if there are any gaps between income, outgoings and savings. Open up about how you feel. Thank them at the end.
- Decide where you want to be financially in the future. What are your money goals? What are your retirement goals? What do you need to do to achieve those goals? What do you want your legacy to be? Make a plan.
- Notice your negative beliefs around money. Things like, ‘Money is the root of all evil’, ‘Rich people are bad’. What is your family’s relationship to money? Were there negative patterns around money when you were growing up.
- Seek expert advice. Talk to several financial advisors before you choose one. Find out about their fees and charges. Notice whether they listen to you and your approach to investment and risk. Check their qualifications. Some provide free services and take their commission from the investment provider.
- If you notice yourself getting fearful when you are making a decision about money, stop and take a big breath. There’s no need to rush in to a decision. Don’t make decisions from a place of fear. ‘We need to ask now as fast as possible, but as slowly as necessary.’
- Improve your own financial literacy. Research online classes. There are assessment tools on line to help you assess your finances. https://www.wakeupshakeupthrive.com/resources/
- Embrace your life and thrive.
You can download two chapter’s of Ellen’s book at : https://www.wakeupshakeupthrive.com/resources/
If you need more help with your menopause contact Pat today for a free 30 minute chat.