Women and Money Management
When it comes to earning, investing and saving, women tend to lag behind their male peers. This gender difference is often blamed on women's care giving roles, which often leads them to scale back their
When it comes to earning, investing and saving, women tend to lag behind their male peers. This gender difference is often blamed on women’s care giving roles, which often leads them to scale back their workforce participation when they become mothers or preemptively select more flexible jobs that come with lower pay.
It’s particularly important that women embrace financial management, because at some point in their lives, women will be the “sole financial decision maker”. This may be because of divorce or death, just being single. They also may end up taking care of the dependents. They will also not want to become a financial burden to loved ones or outlive their savings.
Identifying short-and long term financial needs along with an attitude adjustment that have destructive financial habits before exploring budget and investment choices is the key. No matter how old one is, saving for retirement is essential. Taking the time now to set priorities will help to reach one’s financial goals later.
A secure, confident woman who budget appropriately can reap the benefits. Balancing one’s money is the key to having enough. Instead of being intimidated by it, it is important to get hold of the financial jargon.
Life-cycle financial planning helps understand the dynamic nature of the financial risks presented and develops a plan that evolves over time to meet those changing needs. During early working years between 25 to 45 years it is important to establish an emergency fund of approximately 6 months of income.
This will be one, self-insurance in case of losing job or unexpected health event, also getting the life, disability and health insurance to provide shield to one’s dependents. Also important is to start saving for retirement to avoid pressures in later years seeking high investment returns.
Between 45 to 65 years of age apart from planning for health care expenses, it is important to understand how much retirement savings one will need and assets as sources of income after tax to live on.
If the retirement income base and additional income are insufficient for one’s needs, greater saving is required to meet one’s goals. Also one should retain liquidity to manage emergency matters.
After 65 years of age, the priorities will shift from saving to living off the savings. This will help to decide when one has to stop working; probably the most important decision in terms of influencing how long the retirement savings will last.
After retirement, the focus of financial planning will center on maintaining the retirement income stream. This requires one to manage and monitor the investment performance of one’s assets and the inflation that will likely be eroding one’s purchasing power year by year. It is also required to be ensured that one’s expenses are not exceeding one’s plan.
Women Investors should consider the contract and the underlying portfolios’ investment objectives, risks, charges and expenses carefully before investing. She should seek the help of a Financial Professional to empower her in financial decision making.
By: Rukkaiya Pachisa, Chartered Accountant, Qatar