It has become increasingly important for me to start managing my finances well. I know now more than ever that if I don’t start making the necessary changes, my future won’t look too bright when I’m older and ready to retire. The truth is, at the rate at which our economy is going, women who don’t spend their money wisely, risk the chance of not being able to support themselves once they retire, even if they’ve worked most of their lives. If it’s not petrol going up every few weeks, the recent recession announcements, it’s the fact that women still face inequality in the workplace, and black women are being paid way less for the same work that their white male counterparts do.
When it comes to money, women need to have a unique financial plan that is suited to their individual needs.
Daphne Rampersad, Investment Planning Manager at Liberty said, women live longer, earn less and ultimately, save less due to the fact they often need to care for their families and take extended time off work for life changing events such as maternity leave. These are elements of financial planning that most men don’t have to deal with.
To overcome these challenges, it’s necessary for women to have a unique financial plan of their own, especially with the high rate of divorce. We should also be prepared for the unexpected such as a serious illness, retrenchment or loss of life.
Your financial awakening
Rampersad explained, “Money remains a sensitive, often daunting topic for many South African women. It is usually when a financial awakening takes place that one assumes full control of their finances.”
This financial awakening could come in the form of earning your first income, being unable to pay for emergency medical treatment or even experiencing an unexpected death in the family. It’s a moment in which the real value of your money becomes evident and you understand the importance of managing your money stringently.
“The best solution to overcoming this problem is to implement a stringent financial planning process. Your financial plan should reflect your life aspirations, goals and circumstances. Work with your financial adviser to identify and manage the spending triggers that can sabotage your financial plan such as online shopping when you are bored,” said Rampersad.
Boitumelo Mothoagae, financial adviser from Liberty added that a financial plan should reflect a clear vision for the future. To do this effectively you need a skilled financial adviser on your side because this is essential to achieving your goals.
“Insurance cover, especially critical illness or dread disease cover should be a huge consideration for women. This is one of the most important benefits for women who take up risk insurance cover as we are seeing more claims from women with critical illness such as a cancer, which is the leading cause of claims,” added Dr Dominique Stott, Liberty’s Chief Medical Officer. She also said the women should have medical check-ups at every life stage to manage and possibly get early treatment in the event of any diagnosis.
With 40% of South African households headed by women, these conversations should not be left to chance or to the month of August.
“To ensure that you’re on the right path, check in with your financial adviser at every life changing event such as the change of jobs, a new baby, a marriage or separation or even divorce, or even when you get a huge financial boost either during a bonus period or in the case of entrepreneurs, a huge client pay-out. An adviser will help you plan, prepare and protect your assets, family and most importantly, your life,” concluded Rampersads.
Photo byJess Watters