Women save a larger share of their earnings, but they will likely still be worse off when they retire because they earn less and spend more.
This was a telling insight reported by ADP, a US-based research institute. If this is the case with one of the most developed nations worldwide, can it be very different when it comes to working women of India?
Strong and independent women are looked up to in India. But, in many households where both partners work, women retire as dependents despite saving a good share of their earnings. As paradoxical as it sounds, how could this be? And, what are the working woman’s financial pet peeves? Can women of today talk money? Read on to know.
Less Time for Financial Planning
Between managing the pressures at work, and taking charge of the kitchen and children after office, Indian women of today are left with little leisure time other than to say Gesundheit. Juggling all these leaves her with very little time for financial planning for her family. It is a fact that many Indian working women are not comfortable talking about finance. Yet, they complain about lack of salary hikes, hike in vegetable prices and the like. Point out this dichotomy and you are sure to get a pan in your face.
Does the woman of today require a separate financial planning when the family together earns? India is traditionally a patriarchal community and the man of the house manages the finances. While that does take sweep a lot off a woman’s plate, it still spells trouble when her husband usurps all financial decisions unto himself, leaving her high and dry. She could start feeling that her financial independence is being compromised. If she shops more at the supermarket or buys an expensive saree, she still fears to disclose it to her partner even though she is also a bread winner. Earning alone will not give the desired financial autonomy unless one takes charge of the finances.
Low yielding traditional investment options
Women by their nature don’t fancy investing in high risk high return investment vehicles like assets, stocks or equity. But, this leaves her with lesser choices. Savings account, FDs, and other traditional investment vehicles all offer returns that barely manage to beat inflation. Given all these and the fact that women on an average earn less than men, if a working woman has some loan liabilities, it could easily gnaw away at her savings. If this doesn’t leave her seething, nothing will.
When it comes to money, many people still have a false notion that women tend to spend more on impulsive shopping and skew the monthly budget. But, many recent survey reports reveal that women exert more control over their money. Compared to women, men spend more on electronics, latest gadgets, branded clothing and travel. The woman of today knows that fuming at this lopsided perception of society is going to change neither habits nor perception, but fume she will.
Mis-Selling of Investment Products
Smart sales executives of financial products find women as easy prey for selling or mis-selling. It can be a good neighbour who is a financial advisor or another woman who works as an insurance agent and knows her weakness. Mis-selling through women often happens with insurance policies and small savings schemes. One more reason to fret? You bet!