The National Coalition of 100 Black Women-Memphis Chapter, in partnership with the Coca-Cola Foundation, presented the Sister-Nomic$ Economic Empowerment Program Workshop.

The Sister-Nomic$ Economic Empowerment Workshop was a power-packed session of financial schooling, notwithstanding its virtual format Tuesday Jan. 5) evening.

The National Coalition of 100 Black Women, Inc.-Memphis Chapter sponsored the two-hour workshop. The featured speaker was financial planner Charles Sims of Sims Financial Group, a financial and retirement planning company in Memphis.

While Sims shared a wealth of information and knowledge about financial planning strategies at every income level, a brief chat with business owner Lameka Ivy of Ivy Mediation and Consulting, offered an honest account of what it’s like to have a struggling business.

Lameka Ivy (Courtesy photo)

“I had a good government job for 19 years,” said Ivy. “It was in April that began searching for another job. I had really gotten to a level where there were no more opportunities in my field. I took care of issues concerning EEO, Equal Employment Opportunities.”

After looking for some time and not finding another compatible position, Ivy’s husband told her to start her own business, rather than continue looking for another job.

“I’m so glad God gave me a husband who helped to push me to my purpose,” Ivy told the virtual audience. “And so, I did start Ivy Mediation and Consulting, LLC. It hasn’t always been easy. I’ve given up and gone back looking for a job. I applied for jobs and got interviewed, too.”

Ivy’s business is now thriving, but her open and candid sharing of experiences was a fitting segue into Sims’ no-nonsense, PowerPoint financial planning options for present and future wealth-building.

Charles Sims Jr. (Courtesy photo)

“Know where you stand today,” said Sims. “If you can’t control money now, more money will not help you.”

Financial literacy basics were offered in succinct points. For instance, a person can figure out their net worth with this equation: Assets minus liabilities equals net worth.

Financial planning should include preparing for the unexpected. Emergencies and crises can include medical, financial, or personal situations, Sims said.

“Make life simpler for yourself,” said Sims. “Plan for the unexpected. Life insurance is the thing that should be talked about the most, but no one wants to talk about it. Insure for the unexpected.”

Sims said life insurance, disability and long-term care insurance is wise planning for the latter years.

“Life insurance should be left 5-7 times the amount of your annual salary,” Sims said. “Medicare does not pay for long-term care. Long-term care will keep you independent. Auto insurance should be a good fit to protect assets in case of an accident where you are at fault.”

The Memphis Chapter President Katrina Thompson said the 100 Black Women of Memphis feel a responsibility to families, especially in this pandemic.

“We think there is a great need for financial literacy, wealth-building and entrepreneurship, especially for families during this time,” said Thompson. “We have a responsibility in our own families to keep our economic house in order. We want to help build self-sufficiency for ourselves and self-sufficiency for our families. We need to know how to save and invest for the future. This is important.”

Sims told participants to remember that all debt is not equal. A mortgage is good debt, but credit cards represent bad debt, he said.

The National Coalition of 100 Black Women, Inc.- Memphis Chapter is a nonprofit, volunteer organization pursuing civic benevolence through programs for women and children of color. The local chapter was founded in 1982 and is one of 61 chapters nationwide.