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Women & money

  August 31,2019

Why Should Women Take Charge Of Their Money?


Most women today work in the formal sector and take high-level decisions in their organisation. However, it is still seen that when it comes to money and financial decisions, it is yet taken care of by their male family members whether it is their fathers, brothers or husbands. 

It is not that the male members know better; women hesitate to make the decisions for fear of being wrong. It is because it is easy to blame someone when things go wrong rather than take ownership.

Many times, it is seen that the wife does not have a single clue of her husband’s investment, and it becomes a confusion after divorce or after the death of the husband.  Hence, women need to take care of their finances. Women also need to save more than their male counterparts.

While income discrimination among men and women are decreasing, still many women are paid less than their male counterparts. This also affects their future growth potential.  Women also shoulder the responsibility of their family’s take carer and take breaks when they become a mother. As a result, they have fewer working years than men. It also limits their earning potential. Also, the life expectancy of women is higher than men. That means that women will outlive their husbands.

Managing money may seem an uphill task for many women. But it is not so. Knowing what you want from your money is the central question that women need to ask before they start managing their money.

One way to take control of your finances is to take the help of a financial advisor. This will boost your confidence, and you can easily make your investment decisions.   

However, saving and investing will mean different things to different women, depending on their life stage. The goals and aspirations of women in their 20s will be very different from women who are in their 40s. A woman in her 20s is most likely to save money to travel and plan for her dream wedding. Children’s higher education may be the top priority for a woman in her 30s and 40s. Also, the risk-taking capacity will vary according to their age. Hence, it is essential to consider the age, financial goals and risk-taking ability before you start investing. 

When you are single, and in your 20s, you don’t have too many financial responsibilities and the whole life awaits in front of you. As a result, you can take exposure in high-risk instruments such as equity mutual funds to fulfil your long term goals such as buying a house or retirement. If you want to invest in a dream wedding, you can park your money in a short term debt fund.

If you are in your 30s, children’s education may be one of the main priorities. Depending on the timeline of your children’s education, you can easily plan for the same. If it is for higher education, which is 7 to 10 years down the line, then equity funds would be the preferred option. Hybrid funds can be useful if the time horizon is around five years.

Women make sure that everyone around them is happy. However, it is seen that women forget to take care of themselves. While men think and invest for their retirement, retirement planning among women is extremely rare. Women can start planning for their retirement with their husbands. Retirement planning is vital for women because the average life expectancy of women is more than men. With inadequate savings and lack of social security in India, women have to depend on their children to get their needs met. Hence, building retirement corpus throughout the different life stages can help women to live a dignified life.  

To summarise, leaving money matters in your husband’s or father’s hands may not be the right approach. Take control of your finances, and if you need help, a financial advisor will be able to help you.