How women can future proof their wealth

How women can future proof their wealth

Planning for retirement is a daunting task but it’s too important not to think about – especially for women. Fortunately, there are some small steps women can take today to protect and grow their finances for the future.

It’s probably no surprise to hear that Australian women often retire with less money saved up than their male peers. New research* confirms that even in 2024, this is still the case. 

There are several reasons for this, including well-documented wage gaps and taking time out of the workforce for caring responsibilities.

Not only do women end up investing less money through super over the course of their careers, but they’re also missing out on the compounding effects of super which grow balances over time.

Women are also less likely to invest their money outside super than men. Data shows that while 38% of men have invested their money, only 26% of women have done the same.

Similarly, the research found that while 78% of men have made plans for their financial future, only 67% of women had done similar. Women were also less likely to set financial goals or create and stick to a budget.

Knowledge is power

It’s important to note that women care about their finances just as much as men. In fact, women are more likely to feel worried about their finances or guilty that they’re not doing enough to manage finances compared to their male peers.  

So what’s holding them back? One major hurdle is confidence – or more specifically, that women aren’t as confident with money and investing as men. It’s hard to make good financial decisions when you don’t trust you know what a ‘good’ decision looks like.

Luckily, financial ‘confidence’ is strongly linked to education. The more we know about super and investing, the more confident we can be in our decisions.

What’s more, there are several easy ways for women to brush up on their financial knowledge and back themselves:

  • Read correspondence from your super fund

Super is the largest financial asset most Australians will own outside of a family home, but women are far less likely than men to closely read letters or emails from their fund. These messages include important information about your account and can help demystify the super system, so you have a better grasp on the returns you receive and what’s influencing them.

  • Check out online education hubs

There’s plenty of useful information available online to help you navigate investment markets, super, insurance and more – just be sure to check you’re dealing with a reputable source.

  • Get help from a professional

A core part of a financial adviser’s job is to help educate clients about their finances so they can make informed decisions about their money. Working with a financial adviser can help you map out a plan for your future so you’re more likely to reach your goals.

* Source: CFS commissioned survey of 2,966 Australians and research was completed in March 2023. Findings and statistics in this article are based on this research.

Source: Colonial First State