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According to a recent Bank of American survey, 51% of Gen Z adults are not yet financially independent — but many of them want to be. The survey found that among those who are not fully financially independent, 24% said they are prioritizing getting to that point. However, this can be more of a challenge for Gen Z women than men. The same survey found that Gen Z women are less likely to feel knowledgeable about investing (22% compared to 37% of men) and are less likely to have invested in the stock market over the last year (17% versus 25%). In addition, Gen Z women feel less knowledgeable about managing debt (56% versus 66%) and saving for retirement (35% versus 41%). But despite these gaps, there are steps Gen Z women can take now to achieve financial independence. In today’s “Financially Savvy Female” column, we chat with Faisa Stafford, a personal finance expert from the nonprofit Life Happens, about the top five things Gen Z women should be doing to make sure they are on track to achieve this goal.
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1. Get a True Picture of Your Financial Health
“Assessing your financial health is the first step in building a strong financial plan and achieving financial independence,” Stafford said. “To do this, I recommend you sit down and make a list of what you own (your assets), what you owe (your liabilities) and what financial products you currently have (this includes life insurance, disability insurance, etc.). Whether you’re in college, just graduated or have joined the workforce, getting a true assessment of your financial health is so important in helping you chart a path to reach your financial goals, including reaching financial independence.”
Once you have a clear picture of your financial health, it’s easier to see exactly what you need to adjust. When in doubt, you may consider enlisting the help of a financial professional.
“While it may feel like a big step to work with a financial professional, we are actually seeing a lot of young people meeting with financial professionals for the first time,” Stafford said.
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2. Come Up With a Plan To Minimize Your Debt
Debt — specifically student loan debt — can be a major barrier for Gen Zers who want to achieve financial independence. Over 1 in 5 Gen Z adults cited student loan debt as the most stressful aspect of their financial lives, the Bank of America survey found.
“You should set up a debt …….