The First Ever Women’s Personal Finance Long Weekend Retreat
15 women. 4 days. One big house. Lots of laughs, deep conversations, and some money talk.
We’d say new friendships too, but those friendships already existed – they just got even better in person. The WPF Long Weekend Retreat was open to our Insiders community only, so everyone who attended the event knew each other in advance of showing up in person.
Have you ever met a new friend where you just clicked? That the awkward get to know you phase wasn’t a phase? This event was exactly that. Most of us hadn’t met in person before, but we all knew each other enough that we were able to get right past the introductions and right into the deep, important stuff. We’re a community of women and nonbinary folks who came together about the money stuff and stuck together because of the whole life stuff.
The Long Weekend
The event itself was over four days and three nights, and everyone lingered until the last moment on Sunday morning because no one was ready for it to end. We even had a couple members mention that they expected to need more Introvert time, but it wasn’t needed, because they were with their people.
Thursday night, we all filtered into the big lovely house in Phoenix, and then spent the evening after dinner talking together outside in the cool night air. Even with tiredness and jet lag, no one wanted to go to bed early, and we stayed up late under the stars.
Friday and Saturday both had roundtable chats for the morning – talking about FIRE, elder care, travel hacking, and more, split up in groups of 3-5. Our goal was to have a balance between a relaxed friend hang out and a little bit of structure, which worked out perfectly. We had more loose group chats in the afternoons, but we kept getting side tracked with new discussions in the very best way. From the very beginning, there was a deep trust and understanding, so we talked about some heavy topics, in between a lot of laughter.
One of our attendees was none other than Lauren, the creator behind the retirement calculator cFIREsim, and we spent two hours on Saturday afternoon sitting around together going through the details of the calculator. It was during this time that our WPF cofounder, Regina, finally accepted that she was officially FIRE (financially independent, retired early). The numbers don’t lie, and the encouragement of 14 other women helped her accept that was really the truth. Plus, when you have the creator of the calculator in the room with you…. You know the numbers are plugged in right.
Organizing an In Person Event During a Pandemic
Since this event occurred in 2022 while the COVID Pandemic continues to rage on (even if too many people are pretending like it’s over), we wanted to include a short note here about having a group retreat during a pandemic.
The WPF Long Weekend was originally planned for January but it got moved to May because of the Omicron wave. When the event was finally here, we knew we still needed to be incredibly careful to ensure a safe event.
Every attendee was required to be vaccinated – and boosted – and sent us proof of that vaccination before the event. We encouraged folks to take a COVID test before travel, and while it wasn’t required, everyone opted in. Upon arrival, COVID tests were administered in the backyard of the house and only when the test came back negative could attendees go inside.
The event itself was centered around the house itself, so it felt really good to be indoors with people we knew were safe. While we know that it wasn’t a guarantee of zero COVID, everyone did arrive negative and left the event still negative. More than one member told us they were extremely thankful that we took COVID so seriously, and that was the reason why they felt comfortable attending the event.
Logistics and Details of the Event
The Long Weekend ticket included lodging and all food for the weekend other than Saturday night dinner, so we were able to focus on spending the time with each other and having a lot of great conversations.
While there are plenty of events that take place at hotels where they rent out one or two conference rooms, there is something extra special in all staying in a house together. Just like with all parts of WPF, while we are a money community, we don’t limit ourselves to just money talk. We are whole people, and our space is about whole people.
Life – Community – Finance – Family – Friendship. We’re more than a money group. We’re an amazing group of women and nonbinary folks coming together to form amazing community and real life friendships. We’re a Life Mastermind. Having the opportunity to have an in person event just allowed us to solidify that even further.
Before we even had time to settle back in at home, we had Insiders ask us when we were doing the next Long Weekend, ready to start planning and buying their tickets. If that isn’t high praise, I don’t know what is.
After the trip, we asked the attendees to share in their own words how they felt about the event, so we’ll end this post with that:
“I have never felt so immediately comfortable with any group of people in my life. WPF Insiders are a special breed who embody the kindness we need to see in the world. Long Weekend was NOT long enough – I could spend weeks talking about personal finance, politics, and life in general with these glorious humans! That doesn’t even count the amount of time I could spend running simulations on cfiresim with them!” – Heather
“The WPF Long Weekend was fabulous. It was the perfect mix of planned activities and free time to get to know people. The integrity, compassion, kindness, and openness that everyone showed from the moment we all arrived bred an immediate comfort to talk not only about finance, but to open up about imperfect relationships and life events that would normally be painted as problematic. The bravery shown in the humility of everyone was truly amazing! Thanks for a wonderful weekend where I made friends, and also learned some things about finance.” – Nadina
PS – Our Summer WPF Insiders Cohort is opening on Wednesday – but if you’re a Mission Supporter you can get early access today! We sold out last time in less than 24 hours, so if you want in, make sure to act fast! As a reminder, *only* Insiders are able to purchase tickets to in person events like Long Weekend. (Women and nonbinary folks only, as always.)
Angela is the cofounder of Women's Personal Finance. When she's not talking about women and money, she's riding her e-bike, hanging out at her urban micro-farm with her family, or listening to a new audiobook.