Sharon W. Mooney’s Disruptive Approach to Helping Moms Retire Debt-Free

Sharon Mooney knows firsthand the struggle of being a mom while trying to be fiscally responsible. With the costs of raising children, many mothers struggle to choose between saving for retirement and paying for food, household necessities, and childcare.

Many postpone saving for retirement in favor of paying for more immediate financial needs. But Sharon wants moms to know they don’t have to choose and that saving for retirement is not something to be sacrificed or delayed.

“Humans are living longer.” She says

“There is a high possibility of outliving your money.”

Sharon encourages women to think of retirement saving as a continual investment to constantly work towards.

The Dangers of Unpaid Debt

When most people think of saving for retirement, they think of putting away a little bit of money every month. While this is undoubtedly important, Sharon wants people to know that paying off debt is one of the best things they can do to prepare for retirement. 

Sharon explains that for every dollar you have in debt, you are actually losing ten dollars in possible retirement savings.

Not only are you unable to use or save the money you owe, but you are also losing out on how much that money could grow due to inflation. To make matters worse, creditors will often demand what is owed faster than it can be responsibly paid off.

In finance, the rule of 72  is a method used to estimate the doubling time of an investment. Sharon uses this rule to illustrate just how difficult it is when the demands of life keep splitting your investment into smaller pieces because whatever the quotient is would be how many years it would take for that money to double at a specified rate of return. She co-hosts an online and in-person class every month that goes into more detail, so that middle-class Americans can understand specifics that multi-millionaires have learned to work for them.

Saving for Retirement While Paying Off Debt

Whether credit card debt or unpaid student loans, the costs can be debilitating. Thankfully, Sharon counsels women through the process and connects them with many different programs to help manage the process of paying off debt.

“I have more confidence that I’m planting more seeds that will bloom in their own time”,

she says, recalling her experience so far.

Sharon recommends staying away from credit cards with compounding interest rates. While interest can work in our favor when the money is ours, the costs can be staggering when owed to someone else.

“Credit cards with compound interest rates can kill plans to save for retirement,” Sharon says.

Many people struggle to pay off debt, unaware of the tools that are at their disposal. Sharon advocates for using reward cards and working smarter, not harder to manage the free systems from credit card companies.

She also finds budgeting helpful with the proper mindset: “you have to think of it as a tool.” With an appropriate budget put in place, temporary discomfort can result in long-term financial security.

Letting Kids in on the Dream

For many working moms, having to balance a full-time job, children, and striving for more financial freedom can be overwhelming. This can manifest in feelings of guilt about one’s parenting.

Sharon refers to this as “mommy guilt” and has experienced it firsthand. Kids, unaware of all that their parents do to provide for them, only see the moments where they are absent.

Having to take a conference call right when you get home from work or leaving the kids with a babysitter to attend a networking event can be painful for children who don’t know what it is all for. 

Sharon encourages having conversations with kids about what you are working towards in your career, and the freedom and opportunities you want to provide for them, that you’re doing it as a response to their needs, as an assurance that you are hearing and understanding them. 

Sharon works every day to help mothers save so that they can give their children options and freedom, such as sending them to college, if they so choose. It is important for children to know that they, too, are benefitting.

Letting your children in on your dreams of financial freedom can reduce a parent’s own feelings of guilt while giving kids the context to better understand your actions.

If you are a mom interested in learning more about saving for retirement and paying off debt, you can learn more about Sharon and her work at her website

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