Financially Empowered Women

Financially empowered women: 5 quick steps to follow

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Every individual must follow a ‘Predict-Prepare-Perform’ mantra when planning their financial future. We present 5 suggestions to help women achieve an independent financial status in their lives.

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It is said that when women give up their careers to raise a family, they need to work at least five years more than men to make up for the income they lose every year. A survey conducted by the Commission for Financial Capability in 2013 showed that women normally outlived their male partners, were more likely to give up stable careers for a non-paying caregiver’s role and were more at risk for an uncertain financial future. This means that at every life stage, women must take measures to control their financial destinies.

Here are 5 steps to follow:

  1. Set a Goal - Most women’s financial goals are restricted to setting money aside for daily home expenses, payments for children’s education and matrimony, caring for aged parents, et al. In the midst of this, not a single financial decision pertains to the woman’s personal security. Have you made a goal to invest in mutual funds or boost your savings through FDs? How much money do you want in your bank account every year? Ask yourself these questions and set personal fiscal goals accordingly.
  2. Negotiate the best pay package. Across sectors, women tend to be paid less than men for the same job. Get smart – research the payment prospects for a position you are angling for, and negotiate the best salary. This negotiation must also account for incremental benefits, bonuses, paid leave, maternity leave, etc. You are liable to receive the same compensation as any man in the same position, so do not settle for less.
  3. Get a financial advisor. It is imperative to understand how certain investments work and how they will benefit you. In case you are overwhelmed by all the information, enlist the help of an experienced financial advisor who can instruct you on building your portfolio.
  4. Plan for health uncertainties. This is a major expense head that may arise unexpectedly. Prepare for the worst by investing in an individual health insurance policy in your working years. Look for a plan that offers maternity benefits and coverage for critical women-specific illnesses such as breast and ovarian cancer. The insurance will help you keep your savings intact while paying for your hospitalisation.
  5. Save every month from your income. In the event of your spouse’s unfortunate demise or a divorce, do you have enough financial wherewithals to live by yourself? If not, it is vital to start building a savings fund for the future. You may be on a sabbatical or you may have given up your career to raise a family, but you can still save a part of the monthly expense money your partner gives you, just for yourself. This money will come in handy given the unpredictable nature of life.