Cape Town - Forty-two percent of all women lack financial security and only 6% of women are “very confident” in their ability to retire comfortably, according to Liberty’s head of retention Boitumelo Mothoagae.
"With these stats in mind it’s time to stop spending on the “latest and best” and forget about keeping up with the Joneses and the Khumalos and turn your attention to the big M – Money," said Mothoagae.
"Never have women had so many opportunities to make their mark in different ways across all spheres of society."
In addition to their increasing contribution to the economy, women are also responsible for nurturing and moulding the next generation.
"So, why is it then that women display this immense ownership and competence in all other areas of their lives and yet so many of them continue to avoid taking responsibility for their money?" asked Mothoagae.
"The fact is women can no longer make excuses for financial immaturity."
Taking responsibility is the first step to achieving financial independence and ultimately making healthy financial choices.
Mothoagae provided the following steps to help put you on the right path to achieving this: Every woman needs a financial plan.
Irrespective of marital status, age or income. This includes developing a lasting relationship with a financial planner who understands your needs and unique circumstances. Be proactive and understand how your finances work. It is vital for women to make sure that they have their own bank account, whether working or not.
A “joint” account is not sufficient as in the event of death of the primary account holder, the account will be frozen and you will not have access to this account.We all need a ‘rainy day’ account.
This is an account into which you save a small amount each month.
It can provide you with instant funds in an emergency to cover anything from the geyser bursting to tiding you over in the event of retrenchment, so ideally aim to have three to six months’ worth of income in your rainy day account.Ensure that you can leave a legacy.
Create a will and review it on an annual basis, updating beneficiary nominations to reflect your wishes.
Make sure that it is in a safe place but also easily accessible in the event of emergency.
Protect your independence; your pride and your dignity, making sure that you have dread disease and disability cover to protect you, when you cannot protect yourself.
One in every 11 women aged between 20 and 59 years old will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime.
Having recently released its 2012 critical illness claims statistics, Liberty’s claims by gender reveal that this is in fact true.
Cancer claims account for nearly 50% of all female claims, but only 32% of the claims are for males.
Furthermore, women generally live about 7 years longer than men. A woman aged 65 will need approximately 15% more than a man of the same age to provide the same pension for the rest of her life.
Women need to save for their retirement and to take advantage of the tax breaks offered by Sars to assist them in making sure their retirement years are financially sound.
"Your money is a huge part of your life. It can determine what you can do and where you can go. Learning how to manage your money the right way is an important step toward taking control of your life," said Mothoagae.
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