If really 30% of marriages end in a divorce, I see not enough preparedness from women for that at all.
Lets get the facts right. Women have the following disadvantages:
- Unless they are absolutely brilliant they are not allowed to keep studying and experimenting till age 25
- So women take up a career quickly while men go on to study further
- Women do earn less than men right at the start and that hurts them well into their career
- Many women are not serious about their earning
- I know many well qualified women who keep saying “mine is not the primary income”
- Women take time off to attend to a nursing or special requirement need at home
Without getting into the politics of this, all this means:
- Women have shorter working lives
- Women earn less
- Women are not REALLY prepared for a separation – unless she is the schemer
- Women are a little hesitant in handling money
Women live longer and almost always like to take more insurance than men. Women should be able to close the retirement gap by taking a few simple steps.
• Invest early and increase contribution rates – easier said than done. Women feel that they should not put the ‘wedding expenses’ burden on their parents, so they tend to use up all their pre-marriage savings for their wedding. My take is very simple- parents should keep track of this and make sure that at the time of making the will give a sizable chunk to the daughter too. One important goal should be to contribute 20 percent of gross income into a retirement account. This can happen gradually and contributions can be marginally increased each year. They should keep tracking this on a regular basis. Use it like a parachute – in case your husband is not treating you well, you should be able to take this and fly down.
• Ask for advice. Many women feel insecure about managing finances. I am really saddened that the girls I know also do not so easily open up and ask for advice. I know a few girls who are (Perhaps) being financially abused, but they have not chosen to ask me for help. It is really very difficult for a professional to broach a topic on the basis of ‘assumptions’. A wealth management professional can help determine risk tolerance, investment documentation, insurance planning and how to invest money.
• Leave PPF invested. If giving up or suspending work due to family reasons, don’t be in a hurry to cash out of your voluntary provident fund —this avoids taxes. Voluntary Provident fund can be rolled over to the next employer or left with one employer for a longer time.
• Do not be in a hurry to retire. This may be painful and difficult, but could mean a great deal a few years from now. At 43 you might be weighed down by work, but at 53 you might be happy when your kids do not need you. Another amazingly great advantage – when your husband retires at least for a few years you don’t have to see him all day – you could be at work. Don’t sacrifice the future pleasure for the present.
This post was triggered because I met a woman who was being forced to leave her husband after about 26 years of marriage – and 2 kids both settled…one married, on not planning to get married.
She has just walked out…..now getting her finances in order. Oops.
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