These days there’s a lot more awareness of the disparity between opportunities and salaries of women and men in the workplace.
While women are often at a disadvantage from the beginning of their careers 1, they also tend to spend more time away from work to have children and care for their families.
It’s about more than saving
Women can be very good at saving. A financial literacy survey by the Australian Government found that women are highly confident in their saving habits 2. But they can be less confident when it comes to investing.
Women need to seek financial advice and make sure they’re making the most of their income and their time in the workforce—and a focus on investing can help build long-term wealth.
Women are closing the gap
Not only are women generally paid less than men but the average full-time working woman earns 17.6 per cent less than a man 3 over time. The good news is women’s super balances are on the rise.
In the 12 months to June 2015, women with superannuation had an average balance of $101,900 compared to the men’s average of $158,100.
That means women have about 64.5% of the average male balance although it’s only around a decade ago when the average woman had just 57.6% (2005) 4.
How to build financial literacy
Every woman can do more to increase her financial literacy and be better off in the long term—consider our top tips.
1. Change your thinking - Ask yourself whether you expect to be comfortable in retirement and what proactive steps you’re taking today.
If you don’t have a strategy that goes beyond day-to-day budgeting, seek financial advice and gain a clear understanding of the opportunities you have to build investments and long-term wealth.
2. Aim for a specific super balance - Super is one of the most tax-effective environments for building long-term wealth so it’s worth paying attention to today. Set a dollar amount for your super balance and then use specific strategies―like salary sacrifice―to grow your super.
And make sure you’re not losing super money in extra fees. Get your super sorted today—it’s easy to consolidate your super and find any you may have lost along the way. Contact Us to help you do just that.
3. Establish a budget and invest - We can discuss your budget and work out where you’re spending your money. Then it is easy to organise and plan your spending or set up automatic deposits so your living expenses are taken care of.
Then you can work towards setting money aside for additional investing outside of super. By investing a little amount on a regular basis you can make a very big difference to what you end up with.
4. Seek advice - If you’re considering investing in your future, speak to one of our advisers so you can plan ahead and set up an investment strategy to help you reach your goals—and above all, enjoy a comfortable retirement.
1 "Not only are women paid less than men but statistics show that female graduate salaries are about 90 per cent of equivalent male graduate salaries"--www.wgea.gov.au/sites/default/files/2013-04%20-%20Stats%20at%20a%20glance_0.pdf.
2 Financial literacy, Women understanding money (pp2), Australian Government Financial Literacy Foundation.
3 Gender workplace statistics at a glance, Australian Government Workplace Gender Equality Agency.
4 Super gender gap large, but closing, Financial Standard.