In the words of the one and only Queen Bey…

“The watch I’m wearin’, I’ve bought it

The house I live in, I’ve bought it

The car I’m driving, I’ve bought it”

But somehow the line about getting your superannuation sorted wasn’t included in this hit song. Weird, since surely an independent woman needs a hefty superannuation account to get her through?

Slay, Queen. Image Credit :: @Beyonce

There are a helluva lot of independent women out there, living their best lives — BUT, as much as it sucks, women still face particular challenges when it comes to superannuation.

Here are five key reasons why financial literacy is in every woman’s interest – and some tips to help improve your understanding.

The challenges of caring

Almost half of women are employed part time, compared to one in six men.

This is often attributed to caring responsibilities, since day-to-day care duties for children and elderly relatives continue to be taken up by women more often than men. In fact, on average, women take five years out of the workforce to care for children and family members, and this can have a significant impact on their superannuation and savings balances.

The result is an average female salary of $44,000 – much lower than their male counterparts. Add to this a gender pay gap of 15.3% for women and men working full-time, and it’s clearer still that women need to be savvy with their money to combat these ongoing inequalities.

A super-sized gap

The much-publicised gender pay gap is only one of the ways that women are currently disadvantaged, but the superannuation gap between men and women is a further imperative for financial literacy among women.

Women currently retire with 47% less superannuation than men, with 44% of women reliant on their partners’ income as their main source of income in retirement.

The super-sized gap in superannuation is another compelling reason for improved financial literacy among women. It highlights the need for women to take steps to take control of their superannuation through voluntary contributions and other means to ensure they have enough to live come retirement. You can use Statewide Super’s calculators to help project how much you’ll have in superannuation – and how much you’ll need for a comfortable retirement.

Overcoming housing stress

The pay gap between men and women, as well as the superannuation gap, are also major contributors to housing stress.

Single women aged over 50 are particularly vulnerable to housing insecurity, and make up the fastest growing cohort of homeless people. Staggeringly, the number of women who are couch surfing or sleeping in their cars has doubled in the past four years. This is another reason why women must take action to improve their financial literacy and adequately plan for their retirement.

Financial independence

While a Financial Literacy Foundation report revealed that women have better budgeting habits than men, they remain less confident overall in their financial abilities.

Financial literacy improves independence and gives both women and men the flexibility to leave jobs, change careers, undertake enterprises – such as starting a business, taking time out of the workforce to care for family, and retiring without feeling dependent on a partner.

Quality of living

On average women in Australia live five years longer than men. Women often underestimate their life expectancy, and outlive their superannuation. This is another important reason why financial literacy – and putting plans in place for retirement – is especially important for women.

So what can women do to improve their financial literacy and independence? Here are a few suggestions.

1. Take responsibility for your personal finances rather than leaving this to your partner

2. Set financial goals for your super, savings and investments

3. Ensure you have estate plans for yourself and your family in place

4. Set aside emergency funds to support you and your family during events such as a death, relationship breakdown, job loss, or change in your health circumstances

5. Finally, address gaps in your financial knowledge through education, such as Statewide Super’s Tips on Money Management platform. Where gaps remain, seek out the advice of independent experts. Your future self will thank you for it.

FOR MORE INFORMATION ON STATEWIDE SUPER

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Statewide Super is the only industry superannuation fund based in South Australia and open to all Australians, providing financial planning advice directly from its headquarters on Victoria Square.

Statewide Super members are entitled to quality in-house financial planning advice, some of which is included as part of their membership. So, if you’re one of Statewide Super’s 145,531 members, call 1300 65 18 65 and make a time to have your financial health assessed today.

Statewide Superannuation Pty Ltd ABN 62 008 099 223(AFSL 243171) Trustee and RSE Licensee of Statewide Superannuation Trust ABN 54 145 196 298 (“Statewide Super”). In deciding whether to acquire, or continue to hold, a Statewide Super product, please consider the applicable Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) available at statewide.com.au or by calling 1300 65 18 65.

This is a sponsored post. The information provided contains general advice which does not take into account your specific objectives, financial situation or needs. Before investing, you should consider the appropriateness of this general advice with regard to your personal circumstances. You may also wish to obtain independent financial advice. This blog is not intended to be, and should not be construed in any way as, investment, legal, or personal advice.

Factual information and general advice may be provided by representatives of Statewide Super. Statewide Super has engaged Industry Fund Services Limited ABN 54 007 016 195 AFSL 232514 (“IFS”) to facilitate the provision of both personal and general financial advice. Financial Planners, Associate Financial Planners, and Member Solutions Advisors based at our Member Centre in Adelaide are Authorised Representatives of IFS. IFS is responsible for any advice given to you by its Authorised Representatives. Fees may apply. For further information and a copy of the applicable Financial Services Guide, visit http://www.statewide.com.au or call 1300 65 18 65.

Millie Looker

Millie Looker

Writer, Content Creator, Events Manager and Operations sensation, she’s the backbone to ensuring Adelady runs like clockwork.

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