In order to become completely independent and enjoy a happier and healthier life, it is necessary that for women to prioritises their financial security over and above anything else. Women are strong in their budgeting skills, they successfully manage their household finances and save money from the same. The future demands women to become more proactive at generating investment driven savings, compared to men.
Longer life expectancy
Due to inherent societal norms, women actually face obstacles while investing. According to worldlifeexpectancy.com, recent statistics have revealed that an average woman in India outlives men by three to four years. This implies that with a longer life expectancy, women will need to maintain a greater sum of individual wealth to provide them the required financial security for those later years. Further, to maintain the standard of living and to pay-off for medical expenses at the age of 60 to 70, women will require adequate savings and appropriate insurance schemes that they can cash on.
Breaks in professional life, early retirement
Considering the wide multi-tasking role of women to manage personal life and household while simultaneously raising a family, they seem to be confident in doing it all with much ease. However, in order to maintain the balance between both personal and professional life, chances of women taking a break in their career are higher in comparison to men. This further increases the pressure on women for saving more as soon as they start earning. Due to some circumstances, they will lose out money in lieu of those breaks that will have an impact on their retirement corpus.
In addition to these, another reason that can affect an individual's savings is early retirement, which women are more likely to opt for as compared to men. There might be many other reasons contributing to this, that is, spending more time with their grandchildren or family, not completely physically fit to carry on a nine to five routine or suffering from an illness or feel satisfied with what they have earned over the years.
Women should have a long-term approach to achieve implicit investment goals. One must understand the importance of securing and saving for the future to attain good health and smart wealth. For women approaching their retirement, it is a good time to pause and analyse the success of their investments made in the past. This time also presents a new opportunity to re-focus on financial planning goals.
Gender pay gap
Another major concern that prevents women from saving more than men is the gender pay gap. According to Global Wage Report 2016/17, ILO, in India, women are known to earn 30% less income than that earned by men. This is a huge gap, which has not shown any major signs of improvement. With lesser income, women are not left with any option to be able to save higher amounts of money for their future. Not only is there such inequality in income but also in career progression, wherein men are more likely to be rewarded with a promotion or higher package than a woman. All these concerns combined, ultimately force women to invest in low or no risk plans which might not give the desired returns over the years. As against such high-risk investments that are better placed to yield higher returns to accumulate a much bigger pool of savings.
The landscape for women is changing in India, but they have a long way to go. Financial security is a must and constant for women to safeguard their future.