Living longer, women could invest more

Greta Stonehouse
(Australian Associated Press)


Women need to look at making their money work harder to help offset the double impact of earning less than men while living longer.

Funds manager Fidelity International says women are grossly underestimating how much money they will need to retire comfortably.

Ahead of International Women’s Day on Friday, Fidelity has found men estimate they need about $1.5 million in retirement, while women cite a figure closer to $1 million.

But the survey of 1,222 people with a minimum of $20,000 in investable assets outside superannuation, found that women are still more prone to worry about their financial future despite investing less than men.

Of those surveyed, 73.5 per cent of men said they felt they had the right level of knowledge regarding investment compared to only 58.8 per cent of women.

Managing director of Fidelity International Alva Devoy says, with many falling behind in seniority and super savings because they take more career breaks to raise children, women need to maximise gain later down the track.

“If women’s ability to earn and then save during their working lives is less than men’s, then it’s more important than ever that they have access to the tools to make their money work hard for them,” Ms Devoy said.

The report pointed to an example showing $10,000 invested in cash in S&P/ASX200 in the year 2000 would be worth $45,000 today, while the cash would be worth $21,780.

The research suggests not having enough money, a lack of confidence, and being more risk-averse as factors holding women back in this area.

More women said they were interested in paying off their debt, before investing and capitalising on interest.

“Having enough money to provide for their families, paying off their mortgage and having enough money for the lifestyle they want in retirement all ranked as top priorities”, Ms Devoy said.

Ms Devoy said unlocking women’s financial power would not just benefit women, but society and the economy as a whole.


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