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Women and Super – it’s time to plan ahead
In this Spotlight on Wealth by Shadforth Financial Group we focus on superannuation. Read the somewhat sobering numbers and be motivated by the simple steps you can take now to make your superannuation nest egg just that much bigger when retirement comes.
Gender equality is enshrined in Australian law, however one area where women are striving to make up ground is their ability to save for retirement. At around $157,050 the average super balance for women at retirement is roughly 40% of the amount for men.
There are several reasons for this, including the gender pay gap and the tendency for women to take time out of the workforce to raise a family. And when women do return to work its often on a part-time basis. However, blessed with longer lives (around three years on average for those that reach 65) many women also face the extra financial burden of needing greater levels of savings to cover those extra years in retirement.
YOUR MONEY MINDSET
With those statistics in mind, looking after yourself financially for the long term becomes as critically important as looking after your physical health through diet and exercise. Research suggests eight out of ten women will be responsible for their own financial security at some point in their lives. Seeking the right information and support can be an important part of managing your money to improve your financial wellbeing.
THE SAVINGS GAP: How much super do women have compared to men?
CLOSING THE GAP
Despite many women taking positive steps to boost retirement savings when they do return to the workforce, women are often too conservatively invested to close the retirement gap to men according to a global survey of more than 34,000 investors by investment firm, BlackRock.
Women were also less inclined to take risks with their investments with only 28 per cent of women saying they would take on higher risks to achieve higher returns, compared with 45 per cent of men. The survey also highlighted these key habits of women who were on track to meet their retirement goals:
Spending time on their investments – up to seven hours per month
Making retirement saving a priority
Diversifying their portfolio, holding more shares and less cash
Seeking financial advice
YOUR SUPER INVESTMENT TIPS
FURTHER STEPS TO TAKE FOR A HEALTHIER SUPER FUTURE
So it’s time to take control of your super now and plan ahead. Here are some proactive steps you can get started on to build and protect your financial security.
Put it all together – Having multiple super funds can cost you more in fees. Consolidating your super and making contributions into a single fund can save you money in the long-term. However, it’s important to check your insurance cover before closing any of your super accounts to ensure you and your family continue to have the right level of cover.
Add your own voluntary contributions – Your employer’s super contributions may not be enough to give you the retirement you want. Making extra voluntary contributions throughout your life can help boost your super savings. You can make payments from your pre-tax salary, known as salary sacrifice, if your employer offers this. Your total pre-tax (concessional) contributions within the annual cap will be taxed at just 15%.
To find out more about making extra contributions into your super, including the limits on how much you can contribute, visit HERE
No matter how far away you are from retirement, it’s important to plan ahead for a comfortable retirement.
To get started, head to Shadforth and choose ‘Retirement gap calculator’ or contact a Shadforth adviser on 1300 308 440 to arrange an initial and no-obligation meeting at our cost.
If you would like to talk to an experienced and talented financial advisor click HERE.
Melissa Griffiths: “We all have the power to create change!”
By Bridget Hawkins
In the lead up to the 2019 National LBGQTI+ Awards we caught up with Melissa Griffiths, a transgender activist helping businesses to create safe working spaces for their gender-diverse employees. Since beginning her transition in 2015 Melissa has been educating workplaces on different gender identity issues and has advised a number of businesses including Racing Victoria on their policies surrounding gender diversity. She is currently a finalist for the LBGQTI+ Awards in the category of Hero, an award that recognises members of the LGBQTI+ community who have never stopped fighting for equality & inclusivity for the community. The 2018 HERO Winner was Prof Kerryn Phelps.
Sitting down with Melissa we discussed what policies a workplace can implement to achieve these safe spaces. Often, it is as simple as allowing employees to use the bathroom aligned with their gender identity or having workplace policies against gender-based discrimination. Or, when an employee intends to transition, that there is appropriate support including; time off work, how and when to tell other employees, and a guideline with basic terminology explaining gender identity and other questions that may arise. Melissa has set up a number of policies for work spaces around Victoria but has found there is still a long way to go.
“A good support network, both within a workplace and outside of it can be essential to your emotional safety, and can help push you to achieve great things.”
Melissa describes herself as a “visual person,” and her office as filled with posters and mind maps that describe her goals. These visual reminders not only push Melissa to her achievements but, also keep her motivated, and inspired in difficult times. There is a lot of emotional labour that comes with educating people about facets of your own identity, especially in the age of anonymous internet “trolls.” Any business or person online will encounter these “trolls,” who can make harassing comments.
While you will never be able to stop the trolls, learning how to deal with them is your best defence. Melissa has found a number of strategies over the years, but it is humour and a support network that are the most effective. Laughing at the online comments trolls make, and allowing them to just slide off is the most effective and Melissa even jokes about using some of her most horrible comments as merchandise. This is easier to do with a strong support network, and a mentor to ask questions. A good support network, both within a workplace and outside of it can be essential to your emotional safety, and can help push you to achieve great things.
Melissa was awarded a 2019 Australia Day Achievement Medallion and the BWA team wishes her congratulations!
Annemarie Cross – Podcasting Queen
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Jacqueline Nagle – Creator
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Kristen Turnbull – Core Data
As Head of Western Australia at CoreData based in Perth, she is responsible for business development, client relationship management, and project management across a diverse client base. She is passionate about helping companies better engage with and understand the needs of their customers.
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Katie McDonald – Financial Advisor
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