Widowed at a young age, she turned tragedy into a catalyst for supporting women’s financial planning

Emily Lassiter is an attorney turned financial advisor and mother of two who lives in Birmingham, Ala. She co-founded The Wealth Edit, an online, membership-based community for women looking to learn more about personal finance with Emily Pearson, another Birmingham-based financial advisor. Emily talks about losing her husband at a young age and how it inspired her to help other women navigate unexpected, complicated money situations.

You can hear more about Emily’s story as well as more information on women and finance if you sign up for our first Be Better virtual panel on Oct. 1 here.

What has been your favorite part of starting the Wealth Edit? Do you have a story that comes to mind exemplifying the work you do? 

My favorite part of starting the Wealth Edit has definitely been meeting so many interesting women and hearing their stories. We host a weekly call called “Wealth Edit Wednesday” where we feature a brave and interesting woman. Each week I end the call feeling energized and empowered to keep moving forward with the Wealth Edit. I gain so much strength and learn so much from hearing other women’s experiences.

I read you switched careers as an attorney to financial advisor. Were you nervous? What advice do you have for women maybe grappling with a career change in the middle of COVID? 

Of course I was nervous! Changing careers is daunting and even more so at the age of 45, but, surprisingly, what I have found is that it has also been life-giving. I am thrilled to now spend my time pursuing my passion. My advice to other women who are thinking of making the change is to not be scared to take the leap that they know they need to make. The leap in and of itself can be empowering. After making the change and seeing that I can do it I am ready to do many other things that used to be out of my comfort zone. Added bonus: my life has been a little more exciting as a result.

You’ve talked previously about losing your husband at a young age and how it affected your desire to help other women be financially literate. How did that experience shape your view of women and finance and what advice do you have for other women dealing with tragedy and finance?

I love this question. After losing my husband unexpectedly in an accident, I know firsthand the value of having a trusted advisor to help you devise a long-term plan and carry it out. As a result, my practice leans heavily towards the planning. I enjoy getting to know the client, learning about their goals and dreams, and helping them devise a long-term plan; my passion is empowering them to implement the plan and achieve their goals.

What’s one thing women can do today to take a small step to better their financial health? 

The one thing that must be done before any progress can be made is to figure how much you are spending and what you are spending it on. This seems so simple, but so many have no idea where their money goes every month. We recommend beginning by writing down what you spend each day — twice. Once when making the purchase and another at the end of the day. You will be so surprised by what you discover. Once you have a handle on what you are spending you can begin creating goals and budgets.

How has the pandemic affected your work? What are you doing to counter that? 

The hardest part of working during the pandemic has been the juggle of being a single mom and having two teenage daughters at home. I work in a small office so we have been able to remain in the office most of the pandemic. Thankfully they have been very flexible but it is still hard as a mom to leave the girls at home. My solution has been working from home as much as I can and also engaging my girls in what I am doing. We have actually had some really great conversations about how hard it is to juggle everything as a working mother. My hope is they are learning life lessons that they can use one day in their adult lives.

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