For the month of March, the Entrepreneur Weekly is carrying you through stories of women in business, who have made an impact in their respective fields. Today, we feature a veteran in the retirement planning game who has made strides in various aspects of insurance, entrepreneurship and finance. She will share with us about her own journey in entrepreneurship and finance as a woman and will provide tips to up your retirement planning skills.
Grace McLean’s Journey
Ms. McLean’s interest in entrepreneurship began early as a schoolgirl, where her love for business as well as agriculture sparked. She said, “My interest in entrepreneurship started at the Dinthill Technical High School. My first project was rearing chickens at school, from the baby chick stage through to the final stage of packaging the meat for sale.” Continuing, she said “Agriculture is an art, a science, and a business. My dream was to have streams of income. I loved the business aspect of Agriculture and Accounting was my favourite subject.”
Ms. McLean has spent 20 years working in the financial sector, spanning life insurance, commercial and merchant banking and currently working full-time in the field of investment. She currently serves as a board director of a small business in the food distribution sector. “As a woman in business, it has been quite challenging but I am motivated by the opportunities that life presents, to make a positive impact on the lives of others, as I aim to live a purpose-driven life, hence my motto is “living above self” and I also host a podcast by the same name,” she said.
Women in Entrepreneurship
The road of entrepreneurship is never easy and women’s experience of it is by no means easier than their counterparts. As a woman in this financial space, McLean encourages women to have particular tenets and values that influence them. She shared, “I encourage women to be like the Proverbs 31 woman. A woman in business should be like a merchant ship, providing goods and services locally and globally without placing limits on themselves. Be an investor and create streams of income.” Continuing, she encouraged women “Don’t be afraid to invest, women in business must use their gifts to their advantage.”
Her wealth of wisdom doesn’t stop there and she went on to say, “Personal development is important and women must remember what you don’t use, you will lose. I always encourage women to be vigilant and industrious and financially prudent. Women have a longer lifespan than men, so it’s important for women to save and invest often. Women in business should consider feasible employee benefits for their staff, and never forget to give back to society and build goodwill.”
Ms. McLean who currently enjoys her career as a licensed financial advisor and retirement specialist at BPM Financial Limited, also writes for the Jamaica Observer newspaper, sharing insights weekly on retirement. She now shares with the Entrepreneur Weekly a precursor to this conversation and says what she has observed particularly of women when it comes to retirement planning. She said, “Budgeting and retirement planning are important for women who are likely to spend more years in retirement than men. Women should focus on creating generational wealth, and use stumbling blocks as stepping stones.”
She went on to share more of her observations, “Generally, when it comes to investing, women are more conservative than men. The same approach is taken with pension contributions. Women also tend to put the needs of the family first and theirs last. There are also those women who still believe that their children will provide for them in retirement.”
She recommends that everyone uses a retirement calculator which aims to remove the reliance on emotion in guiding decisions and focuses more on what’s logical. “Some benefits of retirement planning include: providing tax benefits for the self-employed and entrepreneurs, and providing another stream of income in old age and providing a secure way to grow your savings for retirement,” she said
JBDC and Grace McLean Talk Pension
Ms. McLean will join the JBDC team next week Tuesday March 28, 2023 in part 2 of its Virtual Biz Zone webinar’s Financing Series. She will share on the topic Pension Planning for the Self-Employed and Entrepreneur and interested persons can register below to join the webinar.