As we celebrate International Women’s Day tomorrow, I thought I’d take this opportunity to share some insights into financial literacy amongst women and provide a few tips on how you can take control of your financial well-being.
For many women, financial freedom can be extremely challenging to achieve. There are structural and systemic issues to compete with. For women who exit the workforce to raise a family, the financial implications can be substantial. Although you cannot quantify the value and rewards of being a stay at home mother, this life choice often halts career progression and salary growth along with it, meaning that women often fall behind many of their male counterparts.
As we continue to strive for equality and more inclusive society, women’s long-term financial wellbeing could benefit enormously from them engaging more with their finances.
Having practised in the financial services industry for more than 4 years, I have met women at all different stages of life. Whether it is buying their first home, getting married, having a family, divorce or losing a partner. All these life events have a significant impact on finances and navigating through it can be difficult and confusing.
What can you do to ensure you are doing the best for you?
Did you know that the average super balance at retirement for women is around $231,000 and $454,000 for men?
As discussed above, this often comes down to time out of the workforce and part-time work. Although the Governments paid prenatal leave scheme is a massive step in the right direction, unfortunately, it does not currently include super contributions. However, many organisations are stepping up and paying super on parental leave.
Paying close attention to super is extremely important even from a young age. Keeping track of your balance, consolidating your super into one fund and ensuring it’s in the right investment option for you, are some very small steps that can help your financial future. There are a number of strategies that you can put in place to help increase your super whilst out of the workforce, which your financial adviser or accountant can assist with.
To think longer term, you need a plan. Things like paying off your mortgage or having family holidays are big-ticket items that cannot be achieved without having a plan in place that works for you. In most cases, once you do the hard work of crunching the numbers, a lot of it can be automated via your online banking. Check out the bucket method for budgeting if you haven’t already.
It is almost certain that life throws us unexpected curve balls, so it is important that you have a buffer for life’s ups and downs. These curveballs could be changes in your employment, relationships or even health issues. During these times, you want the plan that you have already put in place to come to fruition.
More and more I am seeing women becoming more involved in their family’s financial future - this is what excites me the most! Sharing duties across a household, regardless of stereotypes, provides a far superior outcome. 80% of women say their top financial priority is providing for their family’s day to day needs. Getting involved in the day to day finances of your household and being across your overall financial freedom strategy can really put you and your family ahead.
My biggest piece of advice is to start talking – start having these conversations with your partner, your family or professionals such as your financial adviser, to ensure what you are doing is right for you and your family. Good conversations about money can support your financial wellbeing throughout your life.
I would like to take this opportunity to wish everyone a happy International Women’s Day! Tomorrow is a day to acknowledge all women, to appreciate the sacrifices and to celebrate the accomplishments they have made and to continue striving to be a more equitable and inclusive society.
Hewison Private Wealth is a Melbourne based independent financial planning firm. Our financial advisers are highly qualified wealth managers and specialise in self managed super funds (SMSF), financial planning, retirement planning advice and investment portfolio management. If you would like to speak to a financial adviser on how you can secure your financial future please contact us 03 8548 4800, email email@example.com or visit www.hewison.com.au
Please note: The advice provided above is general information only and individuals should seek specialised advice from a qualified financial advisor. The views in this blog are those of the individual and may not represent the general opinion of the firm. Please contact Hewison Private Wealth for more information.