VIEWPOINT: Financial Independence for Women

Being financially independent means different things to different people. For many it refers to people who are able to completely support themselves financially, without the help of outside parties, including family, friends or partners. With August being Women’s Month, I want to encourage women to take control of their financial future and not rely on someone else to take care of their personal finances.

Increasingly, more women are entering South African boardrooms and it is now a more common occurrence for females to be the breadwinner of their family. It is therefore important that women empower themselves by assuming control of their personal finances by taking financial planning seriously. In the past, gender roles in society reserved financial planning for men. These days, South African women are in a much more favourable position and females now have more power than ever.

It is therefore vital that women develop their own financial goals and obtain the right financial advice to achieve those goals. The benefits of consulting a financial adviser are:

  • Develop a financial plan: This is applicable to all females whether they be single, married, divorced or widowed. A financial plan is the essential guide that will help you to establish goals and set priorities for your future, all with the financial end-goal in mind.
  • Assist with starting a budget: The most important aspect of financial planning is to create an accurate budget that reflects expenses and financial needs while also allowing for some money to be left over every month to put towards an investment plan. A financial adviser can assist with this, personalising a budget tool or framework to determine what can be saved and what can go towards discretionary spending.
  • Get expert advice: A financial adviser has experience and knowledge obtained through years of working in the financial services arena and can assist you with diversifying your investment portfolio, saving for retirement, getting appropriate insurance cover and determining financial risks, both for the long and short term.
  • Sufficient cover for dependants: With the current high divorce rate and many women choosing to delay having a family until after they are established in their careers, blended families – the merging of two people with children from previous relationships – are becoming more commonplace. Women may need to have enough cover for themselves, their own children, their partner’s children and any other dependants arising from a new relationship. Relying on a spouse’s financial plan alone could potentially lead to financial trouble.

BE IN CONTROL

By dealing with a financial adviser women can rest assured that they (and their dependants) are covered for any unforeseen events, have a diversified investment portfolio, and have sufficient savings for their retirement. It is critical that all women empower themselves with knowledge and are in control of their financial path.

It is encouraging to see more and more professional women empowering themselves and taking control of their finances. As we celebrate women in the month of August, I urge all women to interrogate their financial ‘health’ and see a financial adviser to secure their future.

Author: Tiffany Boesch CA(SA) is group financial director of PPS

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