A Man is not a Financial Plan
It was International Women’s Day recently which was a good time to reflect on how much has changed over the years for women. Sadly, not all countries kept up with progress, some still adopt rules that are restrictive to women which both male and females in NZ find unusual i.e. women not being allowed to drive in Saudi Arabia, women not being able to hold top positions in judicial, legislative or policy making positions in Iran. A quote made by Warren Buffet was
“we’ve seen what can be accomplished when we use 50% of our human capacity, envisage what 100% could do, you will join me in an unbridled optimism about America’s future”
in other words, he employed a lot of women!
As Kiwi women, we are very proud that we stand out as leading the way, the first to get the vote in the world. The great thing is Kiwi men are very proud and supportive of their women, men enjoy competing for positions of power with their female counterparts, in parliament, in top corporates and in board rooms across NZ, all of society benefits from this without the need for token gesture equal representation of genders.
So why is it then, that so many NZ women still rely heavily on men to be the ‘Financial Plan’ of the household? In a typical NZ male/female household, females often state that it is their partners incomes and financial decisions which dictate the household’s choice of lifestyle but do the men want this heavy reliance? What happens if something goes wrong? It doesn’t matter how much time passes, we still appear to have a heavy reliance on the ‘Man being the Financial Plan’ and it’s not their fault, they often would be happy to share the load from what they tell us.
Money often appears to be a taboo subject in relationships, it can be the catalyst for unhealthy discussions and frequently blamed for fractured partnerships. What if both parties could sit and make a Financial plan for their joint goals assisted with the help of a Financial Adviser who can help them by talking about the intricacies of their combined budget, identifying which items are classed as discretionary expenses and assisting discussions on what can or can’t be eliminated from the budget, how and what needs to happen to achieve set financial goals, short, medium and longer-term goals. From the new fridge to the lifestyle block.
Wouldn’t this be a better outcome having a clearly structured financial plan in place. By outlining the goals, the number crunching, the realistic discussion on what is achievable, makes for a smoother, more rewarding combined target to be achieved. A Financial Plan also makes sure both parties know what would happen if things get derailed by ill health or early demise, partners would not be left in a state of total bewilderment not knowing what financial decisions must be made to survive the future in a different environment.
A Financial Plan is a living document and will stay in place keeping track with your family throughout life. As goals are achieved, new goals appear. The plan should be reviewed regularly as life changes, we all know people change. What you wanted to own at 20 is often quite different to what you would like to own at 50! Come on ladies, don’t burden the guys, call an Adviser and embark on a joint Financial Plan. The process is rewarding, enlightening and a huge sense of satisfaction for everyone as they tick off those goals by following a set course of action.
New Zealand’s gender pay gap is unlikely to be going anywhere anytime soon and the impact of earning less over a lifetime has an enormous effect on a woman’s immediate and future financial security. This is compounded by a lower level of workplace participation, a tendency to seek part-time casual work and bear the bulk of caring responsibilities for children and other family members. So how can women bridge the gap? Here are some tips on how to build wealth and make positive steps towards pay equity and financial independence despite and in spite of the hurdles women face.
Lifetime continues its growth strategy to build a long-term sustainable financial advice business to serve New Zealanders with the joining of One50 Group. The deal adds accounting and property accounting partnerships, general insurance and business advisory services to the Lifetime advice suite.