Of course, we should all take care of our financial future so we can look forward to our later years, instead of fearing them. But women are especially bad at taking care of their future finances, even though we live longer and will, therefore, need good planning more than our partners.
In a 2019 UBS survey, it was found that 85% of women make short term purchasing decisions but 58% of women do not take the lead in long term financial planning. This includes financial decisions which will impact on their retirement and financial security in the future.
They defer to their male partner because:
- 82% think their husband knows more than they do about investing
- 78% think that as their husband is the primary breadwinner, he should make these decisions
- 68% just weren’t interested
- 64% thought that family money belongs to their husband.
These are strangely archaic views from the following countries:
The UK, US, Switzerland, Germany, Hong Kong, Mexico, Brazil, Italy and Singapore. You may be surprised to know that the two best countries from an equality point of view were Mexico and Brazil.
Even if we exclude the fact that we live longer, there can also be negative consequences in the event of divorce.
- 74% of women divorcing discover negative financial surprises
- 76% wish they had been more involved with long term financial planning
- 77% encouraged other women to take a more active role in their finances .
(this was particularly true in Mexico and the US where 99% urged other women to take notice).
Some of the key surprises that were found after the end of a marriage are:
- 50% found that their partner had hidden spending from them
- 46% found more assets than they knew about
- 45% found more bank accounts that they were aware of .
You may imagine that younger women are more engaged in their long term future, but the reverse is true, they are even less involved, possibly because their retirement is further away.
We would strongly advise you to take an interest in your long term financial planning. Doing this with your partner is better for both of you, but particularly for you!
If you want to start to think about this, check out sorted.org.nz which has all sorts of great resources to get you going.