Author: Greg Taylor

Business finance: Women need to take control of their finances

In his weekly post our CFO Greg Taylor shares a story to remind women that it is important that they take control of their finances, whether they are in business or not.  

This week I wanted to talk about an issue that is very important for Hunter business women and also the men in their lives.  (It is a very important issue for women and men who aren’t in business too.)

My colleague and head of customer relations at Greater Building Society, Lisa Presbury, spoke at the 2013 Hunter Business Women's Network Regional Connect Conference last month.

As well as sharing her personal story of how she rose through the ranks at The Greater, Lisa made a plea with women to make sure they take control of their finances.

The statistics are sobering. The average full-time male worker earns about 17 per cent more than the average full-time woman. At retirement, the average superannuation balances of women are 57 per cent less than the balances of men ($113,000 vs $198,000). Of the Australians aged 65 and over on the single Age Pension, 73 per cent are women. Many more, 300 per cent more women than men retire early to care for someone. That has a big impact on their finances.

Relationships and circumstances can change. It is really important that women take control of their Super and retirement planning.

Despite working in financial services Lisa admits that a few years ago she got too focused on work and family and took her eye off financial planning. She was fit and healthy so it didn’t seem a priority. After talking to a financial planner from The Greater's financial planning partner, Bridges, she updated her will to account for her son, set up a better personal savings plan and organised tax-deductible income protection insurance. Only 18 months later she was diagnosed with breast cancer and faced surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy.

Earlier this month it was Money Smart Week. All of us, particularly women, need to be more money smart. The Government website has some great resources or talk to your financial institution or a financial planner for some expert advice.  Don’t put it off.

Do you have a story about you taking control of your finances or a story to remind women why it is important that they do so. Please share it below. 

This post is based on Greg’s weekly column in the Newcastle and Lake Macquarie Post.