A Woman’s Guide to Financial Security

Too many women leave management of the family finances to their husbands. As a result, when the couple separate, the woman often does not know how to access funds, how much money or assets they hold or if she has adequate superannuation, if any. Whilst no one plans to get divorced, with the Australian divorce rate currently standing at 40%, it is wise for woman to play a role in managing the family finances.

 

If you are in a relationship where finances are shared then it is your responsibility to know what you own, where it is held and the names or entity it is held in. If you allow your partner to manage your affairs, at least get regular updates on your financial position – monthly when the statements come in is a good time. Ask questions. Keep a list of all accounts, assets etc in a safety deposit box or safe, including how to access these if something should happen to your partner.

Fifty percent of Queensland woman who have retired or are retiring in the next 10 years “have less than $20,000 in superannuation and their superannuation will have to last 20 – 30 years”. It is never too late to start saving for your retirement, however the earlier, the better. Talk to your accountant about the best way to manage your superannuation. It is worth paying for quality advice – there are a lot of tax benefits to investing in super, however you must ensure that your super fund is set up correctly to gain these benefits.

If you would like to take control of your financial future there are a number of steps you can take. Firstly, it is a good idea to become financially literate. The book to read is The Woman’s Money Book by Vivienne James. Written in down-to-earth, plain English, Vivienne talks you through the process of setting a budget, simple saving strategies, the importance of insurance and quality investment advice.

Consider a longer term investment strategy, such as the methods outlined in Nick Radge’s Unholy Grails.

“I am disappointed that so many Mum and Dad investors were hurt so badly during the GFC. The financial planners and fund managers they were relying on to give them advice gave them no advice: just the same old ‘buy and hold’ strategy that simply does not work in a collapsing market. In Unholy Grails I outline and discuss specific strategies for investors, allowing them to choose a simple plan that suits their investing style,” said the author, Nick Radge.

Choose a simple investment strategy, such as one outlined in Unholy Grails, and stick with it.

Having seen the difference between people dying with a will and without a will, I would strongly recommend having a will drawn up by your solicitor. Your loved ones will have enough grief to deal with on your passing, without worrying about the complications that occur when a person dies without a valid will. Check your will annually. Is it still relevant? Does it need updating as your family gets older and your situation changes?

Life Insurance is another important consideration. Will your loved ones be able to manage when you die? Again there are a lot of factors to consider. Here is a simple guide to help you decide if you need life insurance. Again, it is worth chatting to your accountant to decide if, and how much, life insurance you might need.

If it sounds too good to be true, it is!

There are too many sharks out there waiting to get their hands on your hard earned money. It is important, before you invest or seek advice from a company or individual, to check the Australian Government Money Smart website to see if any complaints have been made about your provider. Whilst this is not foolproof, it is a great start.

Trish Radge is the Head Publisher at Radge Publishing as well as being a Director and Head of Client Services at The Chartist. The Chartist is a boutique stock market advisory service (AFSL 288200). Nick Radge is a Director and Head of Research and Trading at The Chartist is author or several books including Unholy Grails – A New Road to Wealth.

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