December 11 2007

IWF Policy Brief #10: The Young Woman's Guide to Financial Independence

Allison Maranuk

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Download Brief #10 below.

Executive Summary

This paper aims to educate young women about how small decisions made at young ages can affect their financial freedom for decades to come.  Women are outnumbering men in universities and participating in increasing numbers in the work force, but a strong understanding of financial matters is also important for long-term financial stability.  

The first section of this paper discusses what a FICO (Fair Isaac Corporation) score, or your credit rating, is, how it is determined, why it is important, and how to improve or keep a great FICO score.  The second section covers compensation, outlining six easy steps for successfully negotiating a first job offer, and describing why this process is so important. Moving beyond salary negotiations, the paper will also discuss how other decisions women make, such as job selection and periods of leave, affect their pay throughout their careers.  The third section speaks to the importance of saving for retirement at a young age and suggests ways in which young women can start preparing for their retirements now.

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