Financial empowerment is crucial for women to achieve independence and security. However, because women face unique financial challenges and concerns, they may require extra tools, knowledge and help to get there.
While the gap is gradually closing, Australia’s national gender pay gap as of November 2022 was still 13.3 per cent, according to the Workplace Gender Equality Agency. The fact that our retirement savings are so closely tied to work disadvantages women too, as we are still far more likely than men to take time out of work to care for children or other family members.
The financial gender gap in superannuation persists too. The Australian Human Rights Commission has found that women typically have significantly less money saved for their retirement – half of all women aged 45 to 59 have $8,000 or less in their superannuation funds, compared to $31,000 for men. Currently, the average superannuation payout for women is a third of the payout for men - $37,000 compared with $110, 000.
Women helping women
Going to a gym as a woman where it’s mainly men working out can be intimidating; working on your personal finances is no different, which is why it can really help to seek out other women who can support you. As a women-led organisation, at IAS we love helping women achieve their financial goals, particularly if it’s all new for them. It’s so satisfying to see women come in for the first time, perhaps feeling really unsure and, over time, make real differences in their financial stability and achieve long-term plans.
Another way of working on yourself and your financial wellbeing is to work with a life or business coach. We’ve worked with women who’ve actually sat down with a life coach first to gain the confidence to work with a financial advisor. We’ve covered coaching quite a bit on this blog. Find out morehere. We can also personally recommendCoach4U– full disclaimer, this coaching business is owned by my wonderful sister Cath, who also loves helping women work toward their long-term goals, both financial and otherwise. Coach4U has a range ofcoaching programsaimed at helping people thrive in all aspects of life – from personal goals to business and financial management – so there is something there for everyone.
Check out Coach4U’s range of coaching programs or get in touch to have an obligation-free chat.
Mastering the basics of personal finance
There are many possible reasons why women may have lower financial literacy than men. For example, women may have less access to financial education and resources, or they may face societal and cultural barriers that prevent them from learning about personal finance.
Whatever your personal circumstances, it's crucial to have a solid understanding of personal finance basics such as budgeting, saving, and debt management. We offer a number of free resources that can help you improve your financial literacy.
Boosting your retirement savings
With women typically retiring with less in their superannuation accounts than me, and a longer life expectancy, women need to be proactive in ensuring they have sufficient funds for their retirement through smart retirement planning. This means maximising superannuation contributions, such as salary sacrificing, government co-contributions, and spouse contributions.
TIP: Review your superannuation fund's performance, fees, and investment options, and consider consolidating multiple accounts to save on fees.
Investing for your future
Investing can be an effective way for women to grow their wealth and achieve long-term financial goals. The key is creating a diversified investment portfolio that aligns with your individual risk tolerance and financial objectives.
TIP: Start investing early and consistently, even with small amounts, to take advantage of compound interest and long-term growth potential.
Protecting your financial wellbeing with insurance
Personal insurance– andbusiness insuranceif you are a business owner – is another essential component of financial planning for women. Among the various types of insurance you should seriously consider arelife insurance,income protection insurance, andTotal and Permanent Disability cover.
We can help you review your financial circumstances and find the right policies for your unique circumstances. Regularly reviewing your insurance policies with a financial advisor such as myself ensures that they remain aligned with your changing financial situation and life events, such as marriage, divorce, or having children.
Building a supportive financial network
Having a supportive network of professionals and peers can help women navigate their financial journey with confidence. Ways to achieve this can include engaging financial advisors, joining women-focused financial networks, and learning from other women's experiences.
Becoming more financially savvy is an ongoing process that requires effort, dedication and the flexibility to adapt to changes in your personal circumstances or the economic landscape. Mastering personal finance basics, maximising your superannuation, investing wisely, and leveraging a supportive network of women are just some of the many things you can do for yourself to feel more in control of your finances and future.
 Workplace Gender Equality Agency, Gender Pay Gap Data, https://www.wgea.gov.au/pay-and-gender/gender-pay-gap-data
 Australian Human Rights Commission. The Gender Gap in Retirement Savings,https://humanrights.gov.au/our-work/gender-gap-retirement-savings
Would you like support managing your finances and growing your financial capabilities? Call us anytime on (02) 8268 2900 for an obligation-free chat. We’re always here to help.
Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is general in nature and does not take into account your personal objectives, financial situation or needs. Please consider whether the information is appropriate to your circumstance before acting on it and, where appropriate, seek professional advice.