Many Australian women appear to have a mistaken belief that they must sacrifice quality of life today in order to have a satisfactory standard of living in retirement, according to financial planner, Christine Hornery of FMS Group.
“There is a lot of noise about the fact that women don’t have enough superannuation and I certainly see that almost every single day,” said Ms Hornery, who won the AFA’s 2012 Female Excellence in Advice Award. “In fact, I am so disheartened by the number of women I see who do not have enough money to enjoy an even modest lifestyle in retirement that I’m now on a personal mission to help women take control of their own financial future before it's too late."
Ms Hornery argues that women can have anything they want and everything they need, but they have to strategically plan for it a long time before retirement.
“Women are not prepared to sacrifice things like saving for a home, starting a family, going on holidays in order to have a comfortable living in retirement and neither they should,” she said. “But what many don't realise is that if they have a plan, they don't have to sacrifice anything. They can live the life they want to now and at every stage of the life cycle. As women, we plan for special events in our lives - our weddings, our children's education - but we don't plan for the biggest event of all: our lives."
Ms Hornery also said women must take responsibility for their own financial future and stop thinking of their partners as a stopgap. “Many women are still tying their futures to the men in their lives and don’t consider what might happen if, for whatever reason, those men one day disappear."
When it comes to their financial future, Ms Hornery says women are typically doing one of three things:
· Something – but are taking only informal advice or none at all
· Engaging with a financial product adviser but not engaging a financial planner who can help them at a strategic advice level
“Even if women are doing something, as opposed to doing nothing, it is highly likely they could be doing it better with the help of a financial planner who can look at their situation from a strategic level,” she said.
Ms Hornery is the winner of the 2012 Association of Financial Advisers (AFA) Female Excellence in Advice Awards.
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Julie Bennett, 64 Media
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