Every woman should be able to enjoy financial independence, regardless of their earnings.
By Lizè Visser, Head: Distribution
Each year in August, our country celebrates women, acknowledging those who marched to the Union Buildings in 1956 in protest of laws that oppressed women. The impact of that protest resounds to this day, with women having equal rights and recognition. Female Members of Parliament (MPs) now account for 44,5% in both the National Assembly and the National Council of Provinces. [Source: Women Representation in the Sixth Parliament’ – People’s Assembly: www.pa.org.za].
However, despite these hard-won successes, UBS Global Wealth Management stated in a 2019 report that 58% of women still rely on their partners to manage long-term financial decisions. This means they often do not know or understand how the family’s long-term finances work, and they don’t have much control over it. In addition, this generally puts women at risk financially during critical life events such as the death of a spouse and divorce. If there is one positive lesson that we can take from the Covid-19 pandemic, notwithstanding the loss and hardship suffered by so many, it is that life is inherently uncertain.
There are many reasons for women to move towards a state of financial wellbeing. Firstly, from a career point of view, women often take career breaks to raise children, and may also earn lower incomes than their male counterparts. Secondly, from a health perspective, women tend to live longer, which means they need to have more long-term savings to provide for a longer life. And from an educational perspective, women are often not empowered with the same knowledge of how to manage and grow their money.
In a Merrill Lynch study, conducted in partnership with Age Wave – ‘Women & Financial Wellness: Beyond the Bottom Line’ – women were asked what they wished they had done differently to feel more financially secure and 41 % indicated that they wished they’d invested more of their money, citing reasons such as limited knowledge and a lack of confidence as factors holding them back. Although having a comprehensive financial plan does not guarantee that nothing bad or unforeseen will ever happen, it does help you prepare for the future, so that when the unexpected happens, you will be able to deal with the impact without it derailing your finances completely. Therefore, when women take responsibility for their own financial affairs, they can remain firmly in the driver’s seat when it comes to achieving financial freedom.
Every woman should be able to enjoy financial independence, regardless of their earnings. The following are a few things that women can do to improve their financial lives and achieve financial wellness:
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