Lynnette Khalfani-Cox, known as “The Money Coach,” is a personal finance expert, speaker, and author of 15 money-management books, including the New York Times bestseller Zero Debt: The Ultimate Guide to Financial Freedom.
Khalfani-Cox attended the Global Black Economic Forum at the Essence Festival of Culture, providing resources to help visitors get on the right track for retirement. In its continued mission to #RetireInequality, retirement services provider TIAA is showing up at the Essence festival for the first time to raise awareness around the retirement income gap for Black Americans. Khalfani-Cox was a part of that initiative.
What does it mean to you to be a legacy maker?
A legacy maker is all about thinking about future generations. For Black folks, we know that it’s been a challenge for a lot of us to leave generational wealth. In fact, most Black folks don’t necessarily leave an inheritance, they might leave debt, so we want to talk about things like the fact that 54% of African Americans don’t have enough money to retire, and without those savings and assets, how can they leave a nice financial legacy for their kids? We want to start provoking conversation, we want to inspire people to think about the strategies that they can use and the ways in which they can change things. I’m super excited to be in partnership with TIAA, because they believe, just like I do, that your financial stability is right. It’s not a privilege, and it’s something that we should all be working towards.
What are three financial tips that you would give to the Black community?
Start saving immediately. Even small amounts matter. I would say manage your debt wisely as well as knock out some of that credit card debt, do what you can to reduce those student loans, and keep your financial obligations within reason so you’re not spending more than you earn. I would also say to think about your financial future in a way that locks in security for the next 20, 30, 40 years, and beyond. Retirement does matter because it creeps up on us way quicker than most of us think, so do whatever you can do to lock in your retirement, whether that’s contributing to your 401K or your 403B plan on the job, getting that match that your employer might be offering, whether that’s talking to trusted advisors like TIAA, or whether that’s just making sure that you have a game plan to make sure that your investments are aligned according to your own risk tolerance, and your time horizon for retirement. All of those things will help ensure a better and brighter future for you.