LIFE

Important New Tools To Help Women Manage Finances

Women are still terribly disadvantaged when it comes to superannuation.

16/03/2017 1:12 AM AEDT | Updated 19/03/2017 3:51 PM AEDT
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Studies show that, post-divorce, women are most severely impacted financially when it comes to household incomes.

A special online tool created by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) is helping women become more financially savvy by giving them a real snapshot of everyday challenges women face when it comes to managing their money.

Statistics confirm women are disadvantaged financially compared to men – not only due to the gender pay gap but also due to single motherhood, divorce or time out of the workforce while caring for children.

When it comes to superannuation, the average superannuation balance for 55 to 64 year olds is: 180k for women and $322k for men.

ASIC Commissioner Cathie Armour told The Huffington Post Australia studies show 80 per cent of women claim 'providing for family's everyday needs' is their top priority.

"When your family is your number one priority, it's hard to think about your own financial situation, particularly about superannuation which might be some time off in the future," Armour said.

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It's very important for women to become aware of what's required for financial independence.

"We know that women have left their super balances lower than men, and we know the reason for that is women have more time out of the workforce, they've taken more part time roles to help juggle with caring responsibilities and we want them to think about what they need to do to make sure they're looking after their financial future."

ASIC has produced an info-graphic on Women's Money Challenges, looking at the small steps they can take now that will make a big difference later.

"It's very important to become aware of what's required for financial independence. We've created a women's money tool kit with interesting tips on the key things you need to think about at those times of your life when a decision is pivotal, for example, when you get your first job and what to do if you have problems at work," Armour said.

"It's also important to have open discussions with your partner about what your goals are, what you're bringing into the relationship. There is no shame in having those conversations, it's generally well accepted today that people should be open about financial goals and their incomes."

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Most women name 'providing for family's everyday needs' as their top priority. This often means their own financial well-being is neglected.

Studies show that post-divorce women are most severely impacted financially when it comes to household incomes. Armour said ASIC also created a divorce and separation checklist to help people navigate the financial decisions.

"It's so people can think about exactly what their financial situation is going to be like when a relationship does end and think of the planning and the questions they need to ask," Armour said.

"Hopefully if people gain this knowledge, it will reduce the prospect of them not knowing what was happening in their lives and they can ask questions early on, so they are fully prepared."

ASIC's other helpful tools for women

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