Did you know that 41.3% of South African households are headed by women? Many of them live from pay cheque to pay cheque all their lives. As Women’s Month draws to a close, Liberty hosted a financial masterclass for the modern woman at the Only and Only Hotel in the V&A Waterfront on Thursday August 23.
The speakers focused on the shocking financial status of South African women, noting that most women are not in control of their finances. Added to that, women still earn less than men. They also save less than men and this is despite the fact that women live longer than men. However, it’s not only women who are not saving. South Africa has a poor saving culture.
Liberty financial expert Daphne Rampersad told the women, who attended the event, that it’s not too late to improve their finances.
She gave six valuable financial tips.
Budgeting – a monthly spread sheet helps. You can also download an app to track your actual expenses. Beware of online spending triggers. You can download a browser blocker.
Saving – a saving term should be less than 12 months. A longer savings will be affected by inflation.
Investment – there are many to choose from but the government tax-free bonds are great.
Insurance – in most households only the man is insured. Women must have own insurances.
Retirement – it’s advisable to start saving for retirement in your 20s. Ms Rampersad said women should not only rely on their company’s retirement fund. Companies normally put away just the minimum from one’s salary. This becomes problematic for women as they normally live longer than men. If you don’t have a retirement annuity, you run the risk of running out of funds on your old age.
Estate planning – everyone must have a will. It doesn’t matter what you own. If you have a bank account, you need a will.
Ms Rampersad urged all women to strive for financial independence.
She also advised women to have a credited financial adviser and that when “shopping” for one, it’s important to ask about their credentials. Women must ask for a copy of a sample of a financial plan – just to get an idea of how the process works. But remember that financial plans differ from one person to the next.
It’s also vital to ask how they charge for their services. You must also ask about how much contact they have with their clients. Ms Rampersad said it’s also important to ask the financial adviser what happens if they die before you do.
The message throughout the event was the importance of financial independence, with speakers advising married women to have their own financial advisers. This helps in a case of a divorce. No one wants to think about a divorce, but these things happen. It’s important to plan for all eventualities.
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