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Women & Wealth: Planning for your Financial Future

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Women live approximately five years longer than men, meaning many outlive their male partners. However when it comes building wealth, women still lag behind their male counterparts and while much of the disparity stems from historical inequalities there are concrete steps that women can take to fortify their economic positions and protect their financial futures.

Define your Goals

Clearly define your short and long term personal and professional milestones. While at times events beyond your control can temporarily send you off course, your goals are the north stars you’ll continue to sail toward. During this process, ask yourself what being financially independent means to you.

Understand your contractual obligations

Understand the financial consequences of your marital regime. Your marriage contract will determine what happens to your assets and liabilities on termination of the marriage.

Use long-term insurance to protect your risks

Ensure that you are adequately protected against the risk of ill health or disability. If you enjoy group risk cover through your employment, be sure to understand the scope and quantum of the cover. If your income is the primary mechanism for wealth-building, then protecting your income with income protection is of paramount importance. Review constantly.

Take responsibility for your retirement

A big weakness for many women is to defer their retirement planning to their spouses. Achieving a financially comfortable retirement takes decades of planning, investing, and compounding growth and not being in control of this aspect of your financial future is dangerous. Be intentional about building retirement savings in your own name.

Have access to cash

Build and maintain a discretionary investment account that can be accessed at short notice. This fund should cover at least three to six months’ worth of essential living expenses. If you work in an industry that’s particularly vulnerable to economic downturns, you might consider aiming for an even more savings. Start small and build up this fund over time.

Develop a joint estate plan

It’s imperative to understand your financial position in the event of your spouse’s death. Take adequate steps to ensure that you are both adequately provided for in the event of a tragedy. A joint estate plan is a powerful and empowering tool for couples. Estate planning allows couples to leverage available estate planning tools to ensure liquidity, minimise death taxes, guarantee business succession, and maximise the financial legacy to the intended heirs and beneficiaries.

Get empowered

Apart from enriching your own knowledge base, working with a credible Financial Advisor is a great way to get help creating and implementing a wealth plan that takes your specific goals and circumstances into account at each stage of your financial journey.

In closing, just know that no matter how carefully you plan, life will throw curveballs at some point. Case in point, the COVID pandemic has upended the financial plans for many investors. Additionally, a change in employment, an accident or illness, or the loss of a loved one can take a major financial toll on top of the physical and emotional trauma of such an event. It’s natural to feel overwhelmed when preparing for life events. But taking control of your finances can propel you in so many other areas of your life. You owe it to yourself to define your goals, start a dialogue with your loved ones and create a game plan. The modern face of wealth is female, so walk confidently into your financial future.

The Activ8 Group have investment and risk specialists to help guide you through the complexities of financial, investment and estate planning. Feel free to reach out to us.

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