Women reportedly outlive men by as much as four years. This means that when it comes to saving for retirement, women need to save more. Financial services group, Liberty, highlighted that women play various roles throughout their lives, and have various unique needs when compared to men. These needs include a unique financial plan perfectly suited to each women.
“Women have come a long way when it comes to control of money and finances,” says Eunice Sibiya, head of consumer education at First National Bank (FNB). However, while women have gained more control and access to the family finances, it is still a good idea to reassess your finances.
“Our goals and dreams change as we grow, so it is important to take a step back every now and then and reassess our financial standing,” says Sibiya.
According to Liberty, the cost of being a women is significantly higher than being a man, especially when taking medical costs into account. As a result, it is important to understand the various financial ways in which you can support your health.
Managing your health care
Whether you are a career woman, a stay at home mom, or juggle both jobs, it is important that you are protected in the event of a health issue. This is where critical illness cover comes in. A recent report by the World Health Organisation (WHO) revealed that women face a number of health challenges, including the growing risk of chronic non-communicable diseases.
“The 2015 Claim Statistics Report by Liberty shows that 28.5% of claims paid to women were for cancer, and additional claims were made for cardiovascular, respiratory and musculoskeletal disorders,” noted Liberty.
Dr Philippa Peil, chief medical officer at Liberty, said: “The cost of quality healthcare has increased significantly in the recent years and making provision for healthcare insurance is an essential part of your financial planning.”
Having critical illness cover would help to minimise the cost that could accompany the diagnosis of a critical illness. If you are a stay at home mom and become ill, the tasks that you previously carried out would need to be picked up by someone else. This could mean hiring a tutor, au pair or domestic worker, which all come at a cost that you did not previously have. On top of this cost, there would also be the medical bills. “Knowing that you have cover that will ease the financial implications of a critical illness could go a long way to peace of mind in such circumstances,” said Liberty.
Marriage, finances and divorce
While it is not something that you want to dwell on when getting married, and during the course of your marriage, it is important to ensure that you will be financially secure in the event that your marriage ends in divorce.
Liberty highlighted that studies show that married people accumulate about four times more savings and assets than single people. However, by contrast, divorced people have 77% less assets than singles. The toll that a divorce can have on your finances needs to be mitigated.
To accomplish this, Liberty stressed that when getting married it is important that you consult a financial adviser and ensure that both names are on all the assets, so in the event of a divorce you get at least half of these assets.
Geraldine Macpherson, legal marketing specialist at Liberty, added: “Involve your financial adviser to ensure that the fund is correctly named in the divorce order as well as the percentage of the fund (referred to as pension interest) that you are entitled to. Not wording your divorce order correctly could result in costly delays.”
Planning for your family’s future
Planning for both you and your family’s financial future is important. Boitumelo Mothoagae, a financial adviser at Liberty, noted that through the assistance of a financial adviser, you can ensure that you are ready for every possible situation. These include loss of income, death of a partner, getting a sudden windfall or any other event.
“Having a solid financial plan allows you to see the bigger picture for you and your family and make decisions in both the short and long-term,” highlighted Liberty.
Liberty added: “As a woman there are many different factors that affect your financial wellbeing. Without a solid financial plan in place, the path to financial security will be very bumpy. It’s extremely important to ensure that you don’t follow anyone else’s plan for financial success but your own unique plan.”