Did you know that according to a survey conducted by Nielson, only 23% of working women in India aged between 21-60 years across tier I and II cities take their investment decisions by themselves?
It shows that many women tend to shy away from managing money and leave it to their male family members to handle their finances. But, should women leave their finances to their husbands or fathers or is there a better way?
The income-earning pattern, investment style and financial goals of women differ from their male family members.
Women may earn less money than their male counterparts for the same job. While the studies focusing on the wage gap between men and women in India have been very few, US-based studies have shown that women earn 20% less than men for the same work. As a result, it reduces their contribution to savings and towards their retirement kitty.
We also see that women tend to have career breaks to raise kids and take care of the elderly. Because of this situation, many women may have to stop their ongoing investments. Moreover, they may draw a lower salary when they work again.
So, women need to take charge of their finances.
But how can women take care of their finances? In this article, we will go through the smart financial moves that women can make at different stages of life.
If you are single and you are in your 20s, it is a good starting point to focus on the financial aspects. But first, you need to make sure that you have at least six months of your expenses parked in a savings account or liquid mutual funds for emergency purposes.
As you have time on your hand, you can take risks and invest for long-term goals. Building your retirement corpus should also be one of your financial goals. You can invest in equity mutual funds through Systematic Investment Plan (SIP) to achieve your long-term goals. For short-term goals of 3 to 6 months, you may invest in short-term debt funds.
In addition to investment, insurance should also be prioritised. Women in their 30s and 40s should focus on their health and get a health insurance plan that fits their needs.
Working Married Women:
If you are a married woman with kids, you can talk to a financial planner with your spouse to plan your finances together. As a woman, you may focus on your children’s education and co-owning a house with your spouse, but don’t forget to plan for your retirement. If you had invested for your retirement when you were single, you might look at increasing your retirement contribution.
Having a life insurance policy is also important. Taking life insurance will ensure that your family members are financially independent and don’t have to compromise on their life goals. Most women can get a higher life cover at a reduced premium while saving on tax at the same time. Suppose you are interested in gold jewellery as an investment. In that case, you may invest in a gold mutual fund, gold ETF or sovereign gold bonds that track the price of gold.
Even if you don’t have a source of income, you should play an active role in understanding the financial aspects. Awareness of your husband’s insurance and other details is essential. Also, make sure that you are the nominee in his insurance policies and other investments. Understand what you need to do when he is no longer around. It may be an awkward conversation, but it is crucial for your and your children’s well-being.
Save every rupee possible from your monthly household budget for your financial goals, including saving for old age. As women outlive men, you cannot ignore planning for your old age to live a dignified life.
Women are not a homogeneous mix. The life journey of women differs significantly from the men in their life. In this age, women need to take care of their finances and we can say that money management is inevitable. Whether you are a young single professional or a homemaker, we hope these tips will help you navigate your financial life.