Women need to plan for their retirement more than men need to – because they work for a lesser period and live longer.

However they do have some major obstacles towards achieving this goal:

1. They study less: Academically women do better, but even in communities where education is important girls are NOT encouraged to study to their full potential. Do not get me wrong, they will go and do their MBBS…but then MS, MD or McH …looks difficult, because it takes too much time. ‘How can we find a boy more educated in our community’ is a question ALL GIRLS face – sad but true.

2. As a corollary of studying less, they earn less: If you assume that an average Bcom earns less than an average CA…just apply that logic across, you know why women earn less.

3. Women do not take themselves seriously: Many women say ‘Subra I am not the primary provider, my husband should do all this’. Junk. If you know this is important do this. Many men cannot think beyond current consumption. It is women who think about the larger and longer implication things. I know many men would like their wives to get more involved, but women do not. Happily it is changing – but too damn slowly.

4. Women in the US work about 12 years less than their male counter parts – In India the gap could be greater. Yes we have seen Chanda Kochhar, Shikha Sharma, Ashu Suyash, …but then these could be the exceptions.

5. Women take breaks: Whether it is a child bearing and child rearing break or a break for nursing an ailing relative it is the woman who takes the breaks. This again upsets her career…and therefore the earning cash flows.

6. ‘Cooking is a woman’s job and finance is a man’s job’: Investing myth 101 refuses to go off! ‘My dad /husband/….handles my money is an oft heard statement. Why o why? Come on women if you can run a house, you can look after your money. Honest to God, it is easier.

7. Women earn, and are money ignorant, therefore gullible: I see relationship managers in banks regularly get women to buy the worst, and most expensive insurance products. Whether it is a woman earning Rs. 400,000 investing Rs 10,000 p.m. or a woman earning 45,00,000 investing Rs.1 L pm…it is the same.

8. Not knowing where to invest, so doing nothing is a common characteristic of both men and women.

9. They love gold and treat gold consumption as gold investing. Stop fooling yourself. Gold ornaments will be of no use when you retire.

Women please realise that a lot of you will be single at some stage – not married, not marrying at all, divorced, widowed, ….etc. Not sure how many of you remember SD Burman’s wife outlived her SON RD by 15 years…Risk is when you are not prepared for such eventuality.

By the way did the media talk about Panchamda’s birthday…it is around this time if I am not wrong…

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  1. Subra,

    Very apt. I think it is mostly societal conditioning. Besides most families do not like their daughter in law looking into finance, giving her opinions and taking charge. They see it as a loss of control and the woman as dominating and husband as henpecked. Sad but true.

  2. “I know many men would like their wives to get more involved, but women do not” – I am facing this same hurdle. Have been trying for the last 8 years without success. My wife claims she does not understand & does not want to understand. Any TV serials you are aware of that spread this knowledge in a stealth mode???

  3. Panchamda’s birthday was yesterday (27 June) …but since M-E-D-I-A gets no footage they ignored. ( FM )Radio City celebrated.

  4. You have rightly said that women should get involved in personal finance.The change is happening but it damn too slow.They should not leave the realm of finance to their father/ husband.

  5. Kya likha hai boss…….

    I will share this on my FB profile so as to spread it across all the females I know (I have already fwd it to my colleagues). And if you (Subra), do the same, I guess you’ll “out-run” me there 😛

  6. sir,
    with the handful of good pg and mch seats in the country, doctors sit without working for one or 2 yrs to get into a college/branch reading for 12 to 14 hrs on a daily basis. men also can afford to get married late without anybody pushing them.
    while women get married earlier, even if kids can be postponed, mch will be difficult becoz with out any lags also one is 28/29 by the time they come to write mch entrance.now add rural service to it.
    i know women doctors leaving kids with parents to care for and preparing for entrances.even then marriage changes a lot of things for women than men. it is very difficult to pursue education with the same focus.

  7. Hey subra lovely article and factual. Also on woman’s day I am proud to share this that husband and I are joint owners of around 2 crores of wealth (investment in one of the investment avenue) accumulated in less than 4 years. proud to have a husband who supports and allows decision making. While I am on sabbatical since 2 years now, his trust in my decision making on both financial n domestic areas has never changed. Also this investment is despite all the celebrations and family vacations we take every year both domestic n international.

    To all the lovely woman on this woman’s day just don’t think, just don’t talk but also “Do It” it truly works if done with lot of dedication n efforts.

    Lots of love
    Pooja

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