International Women’s Day on 8 March encourages us to aim for parity for women. On average, Australian women are paid 17.1% less than meni. They also tend to spend more time away from paid work to have children and care for loved ones which impacts their income, savings and superannuation.
The good news is things are improving.
Women are closing the gap
Women have come a long way since 1911, when International Women’s Day was inaugurated. In those days, women had little entitlement to the basics, including the right to vote.
Things are changing for the better. And, more women are taking control of their super with 47.1% of self managed super trustees being womenii.
Still, in the 12 months to June 2015, women with superannuation had an average balance of $101,900 compared to the $158,100 of their male counterparts.
Invest in thinking differently
Women can help themselves by thinking differently when it comes to money. The Australian Government’s financial literacy survey shows women are highly confident in their saving habits but when it comes to investing, many women lack confidenceiii.
Women need to make the most of their income and their time in the workforce. And shifting the focus to long-term wealth building and investment from as early on as possible may help.
Whether you’re new to the workforce or looking back on your working life, it’s never too early or late to build on the investment opportunities available to you.
Many women can become better off simply by seeking financial advice and learning how to invest for the short and long term, whether in superannuation, shares, property or a combination of different investments.
The value of super proofing the future
Super is one of the most tax-effective environments for investing to build wealth. The bottom line in super is that investors have the potential to keep more money in super while less goes to the tax office.
By working with a financial adviser and aiming for a specific super balance, you can determine how and when to use specific strategies-like salary sacrifice and transition to retirement strategies-to reach your goals.
But be sure not to lose any money by paying extra fees for multiple accounts. It’s easy to consolidate your super, much easier than just a few years ago. You may even find money you’ve lost along the way using a free lost-super service. Ask your financial adviser what you need to do.
Help is at hand
If you don’t have a wealth building strategy that extends beyond day-to-day budgeting, seek financial advice as soon as you can.
You may be surprised at the opportunities you have right now to build investments and wealth, even if you don’t see yourself as being in a strong enough financial position to do so. Pick up the phone; it could change your future.
i https://www.wgea.gov.au/sites/default/files/2014-03-04_PP_economicsecurity_O.pdf, Australian Government Workplace Gender Equality Agency.
ii Do you fit the latest profile of a typical SMSF trustee? Super Guide.
iii http://www.financialliteracy.gov.au/media/209296/women-understanding-money.pdf, Financial Literacy-Women Understanding Money, Australian Government Financial Literacy Foundation.