Women and Financial Money Management
Whilst it may be a generalisation, too many women leave the family finances to their husband to manage. As a result, if a couple split up, the woman often does not know how to access funds, how much money or assets they hold or if she has adequate superannuation, if any. Whilst no one plans to get divorced, with the Australian divorce rate currently standing at 40% it is wise for woman to play a role in managing the family finances.
If you are in a relationship where finances are shared then it is your responsibility to know what you own, where it is held and the names or entity it is held in. If you allow your partner to manage your affairs, at least get regular updates on your financial position – monthly when the statements come in is a good time.
Ask questions. Keep a list of all accounts, assets etc in a safety deposit box or a safe, including how to access these if something should happen to your partner.
According to ASIC SmartMoney in 2007 Australian women about to retire had an average of $35,300 less in super savings than men.
It is never too late to start saving for your retirement, however the earlier, the better. Talk to your accountant about the best way to manage your superannuation. It is worth paying for quality advice – there are a lot of tax benefits to investing in super, however you must ensure that your super fund is set up correctly to gain these benefits.
If you would like to take control of your financial future there are a number of steps you can take.
Firstly, it is a good idea to become financially literate. Grab a copy of The Woman’s Money Book by Vivienne James. Written in down-to-earth, plain English, Vivienne talks you through the process of setting up a budget, simple saving strategies, the importance of insurance and quality investment advice.
Having seen the difference between people dying with a will and without a will, I would strongly recommend having a will drawn up for you by your solicitor. Your loved ones will have enough grief to deal with on your passing, without worrying about the complications that occur when a person dies without a valid will. Check your will annually. Is it still relevant? Does it need updating as your family gets older and your situation changes?
Life Insurance is another important consideration. Will your loved ones be able to manage when you die? Again there are a lot of factors to consider.
If it sounds too good to be true, it is! There are too many sharks out there waiting to get their hands on your hard earned money. It is important, before you invest or seek advice from a company or individual, to check the MoneySmart website to see if any complaints have been made about your provider.