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Women helping women achieve ‘financial fitness’

Inspired by the quote “Our purpose in life is to find our gift, perfect it and give it back to others,” Marcia Brixey is doing just that through her free Money Wise Women forums.

Realizing what it took to get her “financial house in order,” Brixey, of Silverdale, has made it her life’s work to help other women achieve what she calls “financial fitness.”

“I want women to be smarter than I was,” Brixey said. “I was 42 when I started getting my act together. Had I been smarter I would have been a millionaire.”

In what will be her 11th Money Wise Women Forum in Kitsap County, the next free conference is from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. next Saturday, Feb. 25 at Central Kitsap Junior High School.

In 2002 Brixey decided to take an early retirement from her public relations job with the Social Security Administration after 26 years to begin the Money Wise Women program.

“I realized I had this passion for doing this,” she said.

Brixey also is the president of the nonprofit organization Money Wise Women Educational Services. Sponsorships and grants make it possible for Brixey to offer the forums for free which she says is something she will continue to do as long as she is coordinating them.

The informational event will feature several breakout sessions presented by local female professional and investment experts including Beth Wells of CFA Northwest Mortgage Professionals, Donna Davidson of American Marine Bank, Angela Sell of Edward Jones, and Brenda Wall of PrePaid Legal Services Inc.

“Women can expect an amazing day of education and empowerment,” Brixey said. “One woman said to me once, ‘I came expecting to leave early, but then I didn’t want to leave.’”

Discussion topics will include financial fitness basics, credit reports and scores, minimizing risk of identity theft and the importance of Social Security.

Registration begins at 8:30 a.m. with the opening session featuring Brixey as well as Renee Maher, who after her husband died in the line of duty as a police officer, was suddenly faced with the sole responsibility of the family’s finances.

“I think her story is an important enough story that everyone needs to hear it,” Brixey said. “She’s going to be sharing why it’s important to plan for the future.”

Brixey also will share her own tips and experiences on a range of topics including financial literacy, productive networking, developing a spending and debt reduction plan and understanding compounding interest.

“One thing women will get is lots of tips on ways to trim their spending,” she said. “We spend unconsciously. We don’t think about the small things like the lattés and the magazines, they add up very quickly.”

Although the forum is targeted toward women, men are more than welcome to attend, Brixey said.

Each person who attends the conference will be given a free copy of Brixey’s recently self-published book, “Becoming a Money Wise Woman: Getting your Financial House in Order.”

To register for next Saturday’s free conference visit www.moneywisewomen.net or send an e-mail with your name, e-mail address and phone number to mww@silverlink.net. For more information, call Brixey at (360) 308-0056.

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