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Financial Literacy – the way out for Women Professionals

Hey Women! Did you ever thought as to why the world celebrates an International Women Day? Well! I would not go into the history of it but I am sure it is about making you feel special. And on this special occasion, team SBS Financial Advisory has decided to inspire and empower women to take their own financial decisions. Before you read on further, here’s wishing you a Happy International Women’s Day

 

In the 21st Century more and more Indian women are working, carving out their own identities in the Corporate world, earning and contributing to household expenses. But sadly, when it comes to managing money we still are dependent on our Fathers, Brothers and Husbands and are clueless when it comes to savings and investments.
In my 15 years of experience I have come across many women friends and relatives who are financially illiterate even if they are working. Clients whose husbands use to take care of everything and some unforeseen event shook them off and few even faced a sudden demise post retirement phase etc and that comes as a rude shock to them. They are not aware of the financial affairs,investments and various documentation leave alone understanding of various financial products, tax implications.

 

While writing the blog I checked with my Mom why I haven’t seen her taking interest in financial matters. She may not be a bread earner but as a housewife who does the job at least 3-4 people she had every right to be a part of family financials. She dryly replied to me that she never felt the need. Before marriage my Nana ji took care of her needs and later after marriage whenever she required anything my Dad would buy for her. Its ingrained in our culture males are bread earners and females are care givers and for them financial matters are not feminine.

 

This question bothers me time and again, that is, if women can work and make our own money, why we are not the one who is involved in investment process and decision making. Isn’t it important to equip ourselves with the necessary tools to be able to handle any life situation. Times are changing life can take unexpected turns. It is better we stay prepared.

 

So what’s stopping us? Our dependency, our culture, our historical training that engaging with money is unfeminine, complicated financial jargons, lack of financial literacy. Answer is probably combination of all.
The art of managing money is simple, once you take a few steps to understand it. Believe me it is no rocket science. Infact women have far better understanding of financial goals, savings, inflation etc. They are running the domestic chores based on the same line – may be through a n unexplored conscience.

 

Remember, how our grandmothers use to save money in cookie jars and stash them here and there in the kitchen. This is modern day bucketing which lot of advisors use and teach their clients. It is not about just investing, it is about managing money well and using it appropriately to achieve our life’s goals. Understanding investments and own financial health in general, will help us chart out our financial journey in a better manner.

 

There are some common situations for which one may need to seek financial advice and should have awareness so that we are caught by unexpected turns of events (Remember Financial literacy means empowerment)

Savings from Salary

There are benefits of being a woman including having a lower tax rate and life insurance premium than men, one may receive added benefits from financial planning. A strategic financial plan can help maximize your cash flow and attain long-term financial security.

Higher Education

The cost of education in India and abroad has increased significantly over the past couple of years. This coupled with a higher cost of living may make it difficult to continue your education without proper planning. If you are planning to continue your education in future, it is important to start saving today especially if you do not want to burden your parents with these high expenses.

Planning for Marriage

Getting married is one of the most exciting events in a woman’s life. However, weddings can be very expensive. Whether you want to have a dream wedding ceremony, a designer outfit, or luxurious jewellery and do not want to trouble your father with these high expenses, these aspirations could still turn into reality with some financial planning.

Homemakers

Managing household expenses can be complicated. Apart from spending wisely, you may struggle to save. With financial education, you can learn how best to optimize the funds at your disposal.

Planning for a Family

Children bring such joy to a parent’s life, but they also come with additional responsibilities & expenses. It can be challenging and expensive to meet the ever increasing needs of children. Don’t compromise on your child’s needs and start planning your finances early.

Luxury Shopping

Wouldn’t you like to buy that designer handbag you saw the other day at the mall? Or those designer shoes? Some financial planning may help you to buy those luxury goods without facing the embarrassment of asking your spouse or parents.

Planning for Retirement /Golden Years

Saving for retirement can be a stressful task but one which should be planned proactively. Unfortunately, historically women tend to earn less, live longer than men and thus are likely to enter retirement with fewer resources than men. If you start investing early, due to the power of compounding, you should be able to accumulate the necessary funds for retirement.

Inheritance

Today, many women are beneficiaries to an inheritance from their parents and husbands. To be able to optimize the return on these assets, it’s important to understand your options.

Unexpected & Unfortunate life events

•Divorce

Unfortunately, life is not a fairy tale. Divorce is one of the most unexpected and unfortunate events which can be an emotional and financial drain. Not only is your life in turmoil, but also your finances are out of order. When you are going through a divorce, lack of specialized financial expertise can lead to mistakes resulting in long-lasting, devastating consequences.

•Widowhood

In the midst of dealing with the grief and pain of the loss of a spouse to death, it is important to be prudent with one’s inheritance.

The list goes on but one simple reason for which you must put Personal Financing & Investment Planning on priority is YOU. Do it for yourself, for your family & your loved ones. And on Women’s Day – drop in a mail to rashi.bhargava@sbsfin.com with just one line, ‘ I am in Rashi, let us talk further’. and 10 lucky entries will get a Free Consultation & Suggested Investment Document for the new Financial Year. You can also reply & comment on our social channels to participate.