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International Women’s Day 2020 Posted on March 4, 2020

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Shining a light on the wealth gap between men and women

The theme of the 2020 International Women’s Day is: ‘An equal world is an enabled world’.

We’ve reviewed the numbers and when it comes to women’s finance, ‘equality’ is far from the current status.

Christine Hallowes is the Senior Financial Planner at AdviceCo. She is passionate about empowering women to lead a healthy financial life.

“It starts with attitude – both men and women in any financial arrangement need to share the perspective that all parties are equally deserving of a secure financial position,” said Christine.

The statistics paint a vivid picture. Women, on average:

  • Earn less – the average gap between the salaries of Australian men and women is 14.6% (1)
  • Do more unpaid work – 64.4% of working hours by women are unpaid, as opposed to 36.1% of men’s working hours. (4)
  • Retire with less – By 2030, the projected superannuation figure for women at retirement is $262K, as opposed to $434K for men. (3)
  • But live longer – the average life expectancy of women is 87.3 years, compared to 84.6 years for men. (5)

With one third of marriages ending in divorce (6), it is more important than ever for men and women to be able to take control of their financial wellbeing now and into the future.

Our firm suggests seven checkpoints for financial independence:

  1. Know the detail – what is coming in, and what is going out – to form a budget.
  2. Check your super – where is your money, and is it working as hard for you as possible?
  3. Have a retirement goal – both men and women should have an idea of what they’re working towards.
  4. A little bit goes a long way – Healthy savings habits can build up to meaningful amounts and options.
  5. Protect your hard-earned wealth – Insurance is often an underrated form of financial planning – but it is absolutely essential for protection against unforeseen adversity, which unfortunately, no one is immune to.
  6. Learn about investing – women can be more conservative when it comes to investing their savings. The best antidote to this is knowledge – you are more likely to feel confident if you can make informed choices.
  7. Seek advice – a trusted advisor will prioritise your best interests and walk through the options available to help you be better off.

Further reading.

  • Money Smart – the Australian Government resource across all areas of financial health, including debt management, budgeting, superannuation, insurance, and financial literacy.
  1. Black, M. (2018) ‘National gender pay gap lowest in 20 years’, Workplace Gender Equality Agency.
  2. Workplace Gender Equality Agency. (2018) Defining the concept of economic security for all women: Policy recommendations to boost women’s economic security.
  3. Industry Super Australia, as quoted in Koukoulas, S. (2018) Defining the concept of economic security for all women: Policy recommendations to boost women’s economic security.
  4. Workplace Gender Equality Agency. (2016) Unpaid care work and the labour market.
  5. Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. (2018) Deaths in Australia.
  6. ABS. (2016) ‘Marriages and Divorces, Australia’.

Important information
This document contains general advice. It does not take account of your objectives, financial situation or needs. You should consider talking to a financial adviser before making a financial decision. This document has been prepared by Count Financial Limited ABN 19 001 974 625, AFSL 227232, (Count) a wholly-owned, non-guaranteed subsidiary of Commonwealth Bank of Australia ABN 48 123 123 124. Count Wealth Accountants® is the business name of Count. Count advisers are authorised representatives of Count. Information in this document is based on current regulatory requirements and laws as at 31 October 2018, which may be subject to change. While care has been taken in the preparation of this document, no liability is accepted by Count, its related entities, agents and employees for any loss arising from reliance on this document.

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