Women and Financial Independence

Written on the 1 April 2021 by Parkside InvestorPlus

Women and Financial Independence

For many women, the phrase 'women and financial independence' may seem like an oxymoron.

More so than not, the challenges women face, when it comes to building a financial nest egg, are huge compared to males.

I preface the previous sentence with 'more so than not' simply because we do have outliers where women have achieved incredible financial success.

Recently the Australian Financial Review Rich List editors (March 2021), compiled a standalone list of 50 of the most successful women in our country.

These 50 women, between them, control $85.3 billion, from varied industries – mining, retail, tech, finance and fitness.

Without going into the whole list of 50, heading it was Gina Rinehart.  Other notables included Angela Bennett, Gretel Packer, Melanie Perkins, Nicole Kidman and Katie Page.

But these women are not exactly representative of the everyday, hardworking, and equally determined female demographic.

There is an even a bigger number than 50 women who are either behind or falling behind the financial independence curve.

Why are women behind men on the road to financial independence?

No doubt this exact question has been asked and addressed several times.

But, in case you missed the answer(s):

  • On average, women spend 5 years out of the workplace to care for children (missing out on income, promotions and superannuation payments)
  • They are more inclined to work part-time opting to look after the kids
  • Full-time working women earn on average 18% less than men, and
  • if relationships go wrong and they separate, a woman may choose to dip into her savings to look after her family at the expense of her retirement planning

So, you see, the odds are not exactly in favour for most everyday women to reach the heights of financial freedom and independence.

So, what can women do about it?

Quite a lot to be honest.

First and foremost, start looking out 10, 15, 20 years to retirement – or wherever your current starting point is.

Superannuation today is still the most effective and tax beneficial way to set you up for retirement.

However, we know every woman's life story is different, so there is no one size fits all solution or strategy when it comes to hitting the right retirement number.

Some simple and obvious super strategies include:

  • Making voluntary super contributions whenever you can (while working)
  • Salary sacrifice – inject a bit more of your pay into super and gain a tax savings benefit at the same time
  • Some women may qualify for the government super co-contribution scheme

Investing does not necessarily need huge amounts of cash, rather successful investments are a result of two factors:

  • Consistency,
  • Patience, and
  • The power of compounding or growing over time.

Insurance

Yes, it's a cost – however, having the right protection strategies in place is an integral part of the journey to financial independence.

Finally, as the saying goes, the best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago, the next best time is NOW.

At Parkside, we can help you align your aspirations and values with a financial plan so you can meet your retirement goals.


Author: Parkside InvestorPlus
About: As advisers, we act as a fiduciary sitting on the same side of the table as our clients, providing peace of mind, greater control and visibility.

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