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Around the world, women’s wealth and income are growing faster than ever. It is hugely positive that women’s financial strength and independence is increasing due to demographic, economic and technological changes. Recent research suggests that women in Western economies may soon control the majority of household wealth. This is due to in part to the coming wave of intergenerational wealth transfer from baby boomers to succeeding generations, but also the growing participation of women in Professional and senior roles in the workforce.

With all of this growing economic influence, you might expect women to feel confident about their financial future but unfortunately, that’s not the current case. 

Research shows that women are much more likely than men to experience financial anxiety and to feel stressed when considering their finances; but we can all play a part and turn the tide on these feelings through education, goal-setting and planning.

Planning for the Challenges Women Face

Generally speaking, women face five different challenges through their financial life journeys, compared to men: the gender pay gap, the need for flexible working conditions, maternity leave, longer life expectancy, and a lower risk tolerance.

Women provide a disproportionate amount of caregiving in Ireland which is generally unpaid and also can lead to a reduction in income.  For instance, we may put our careers on hold or reduce our working hours to care for children and/or aging parents.

Spending less time in the workforce can have far-reaching financial effects, in some cases reducing participation in pension schemes, or preventing a smooth career trajectory and the pay increases that come with it.

On average, in Ireland women live about five years longer than men,meaning many of us outlive our male partners. Because of the career interruptions I just mentioned, that means many women are living longer on less income.

Finally, women may not be taking full advantage of the investment opportunities at their disposal, or the potential for their assets to grow, as they are more likely to take a conservative approach to money.

Setting and Meeting Goals

Through thoughtful planning, women can secure financial freedom to pursue their personal goals, have stability of income in retirement and handle the inevitable obstacles life throws in their path.

There are some simple steps to get started on this pathway.

First, define your goals. Ask yourself what being financially comfortable means to you. Even if it seems far away, you should begin to think about what an ideal retirement will look like, whether it’s traveling the world or just continuing to enjoy your current lifestyle.

The next step is to come up with a saving and investment plan that will get you there, keeping in mind that it may very well change over time. For many women, working with a Financial Advisor is a great way to get help with creating and implementing a financial plan that takes your specific goals and circumstances into account at each stage of your financial journey. They will not only help you plan for the expected but also for the unexpected curveballs life throws at us. This could be illness, death of a partner or spouse, loss of employment or divorce. With good planning these life events need not have a significant impact on your long-term financial goals.

Who will hold you Accountable?

After you have set your financial goals and put in place the savings and investment plans to achieve them, you need to make sure you stay on track. The journey to financial freedom is a long road and it’s important to have regular reviews with a trusted advisor who will help you to prioritise your own needs when you come up against competing demands and who will nudge you back on track when you fall behind schedule.

Armed with a plan and a trusted Financial Advisor, you can feel more confident about your financial goals and your pathway to achieve them.

Should you have any queries or the above or wish to speak to a financial advisor please contact us on 01 2375500 or email jusask@harvestfinancial.ie.

The material is not intended to provide advice and is provided for general information purposes only.

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Tel: +353 (0) 1 237 5500, Fax: +353 (0) 1 237 5555. Email: justask@harvestfinancial.ie