From podcasts to courses, ebooks and workshops, women taking control of their money is at an all-time high in Australia. Every day, more women are taking active steps toward safeguarding their financial future as they develop their understanding of money management.
At Financial Spectrum, we want to empower women to make more informed financial decisions so they can have greater confidence in their futures. If you’re embarking on getting control over your finances, we’ve outlined four major financial planning considerations to reflect on.
If you have children or are responsible for caring for your parents or elder family, women take more breaks from their careers than men. This contributes to women earning less than men over the course of their careers. It also means that, on average, women’s superannuation balances are significantly lower than men’s. But caring for family doesn’t automatically mean your career goals must be on the back burner and your finances need to suffer.
Financial planning for women is about setting clear and realistic intentions, including with your career. A financial planner can help you take greater control over your career and financial situation by forecasting different scenarios to help you make smarter, more informed decisions. For example, how much maternity leave can you afford to take while still maintaining your current lifestyle and reaching your future goals?
Marriage and children
Many couples combine their finances and work together in paying household bills, saving and investing. While working together will generally help you reach your financial goals faster, financial independence should also be a priority. This is especially important if you step away from your career to have children or care for elderly family members.
Superannuation is also an important factor if women have taken time out of the workforce. Families may want to consider the working partner contributing to the super account of the partner taking leave. There are tax concessions available. As it currently stands, if your spouse earns less than $40,000 a year then you’re entitled to make super contributions into their account on their behalf, while earning yourself a tax offset of up to $540 a year. There are other conditions that apply, so it’s worth seeking professional help to make sure you have all the information you need to make the decision that’s right for you.
Perhaps there are financial goals you want to achieve independently, such as paying off debt or share investing? Working toward your own financial goals can bring on a sense of empowerment and confidence, which can also positively impact your marriage.
Although no one likes to think about it, it’s a sobering fact that one in three Australian marriages will end in divorce. Going through a divorce can have a devastating effect on your personal finances. Whether you enlist legal help or manage your divorce on your own, there are several financial considerations to be aware of.
When you’re married, most of your financial decisions are based on two incomes. Things such as where you live and the type of home that you have, the school that you send your children to and where you travel on holidays. When you find yourself divorced with one income, you have to sometimes make difficult decisions on how you’re going to move forward. You will need to change how cash flow is managed, likely incurring greater expenses and potentially requiring a re-entry into the workforce.
Of course, you’ll also need to manage asset division with your partner. If you own a life insurance policy or have a Will in place, you will need to decide whether you want to keep the beneficiary as your spouse. If you and your partner had a binding financial agreement (BFA), this would need to be reviewed too.
The gender pay gap
The gender pay gap continues to be a reality for women worldwide. In Australia, our national gender pay gap is 14.1%, where women, on average, earn $263.90 less than men per week. As we continue to lobby for change, it may still be a while before the country sees equal pay between men and women.
To ensure you don’t fall behind on your financial goals, keep abreast of what’s happening in the market. Push for a pay rise when appropriate or consider moving to a more competitive organisation.
Expert financial planning for women — consider Financial Spectrum
For women, taking control of your money has never been more important. One of the best things you can do to get ahead financially is to speak to one of the professional advisors at Financial Spectrum. We offer a range of financial services to help you tick off big goals and achieve financial freedom.
Find out how we can help you on your journey by booking an appointment today.