With International Women’s Day just around the corner, I thought it was a good time to talk about the financial challenges that many women experience.
You’ve probably heard the statistics about how Aussie women retire with half the super savings of men. But this is only part of the story.
Yes, women are also more likely to live longer than men, and often retire earlier than men. Which means there is a serious risk that women will outlive their retirement savings and spend their later years in financial hardship.
And yes, there is another factor that impacts our finances as we age – our health. The older we get, the more likely we are to experience a serious health event, such as a heart condition, cancer, diabetes or Alzheimer’s. If you are working when diagnosed, you obviously lose your ability to continue to earn an income. And a serious illness can also have a significant impact on your partner’s finances should they decide to take time off work to become your primary carer. And this is before you even start to factor in medical bills and related expenses.
But we don’t have to sit back and wait for these risks to become reality. Here are just some of the things we can work on together:
- Making additional contributions to your super to top up the balance
- Consolidating your superannuation accounts and adding or removing features to make it more cost-effective
- Planning ahead for life events that could reduce your income, such as having children, and calculating how that will impact the length of time you need to remain in the workforce
- Incorporating a life insurance strategy (including trauma and income protection cover) into your plan so that, if the worst should happen, you do not have to dip into your savings
The key takeout here is to be prepared. Seek advice and make a plan. Don’t cross your fingers and hope things will get better – take steps to ensure you are in control of your financial future.