Source: The Hitavada      Date: 14 Mar 2018 11:32:59



By Dr RAchana datey

We all have seen our mothers, grandmothers managing the household competently. They were organised, disciplined and always in control. In today’s world the role of women is magnified many folds. She manages her household and her career. She manages all the responsibilities extraordinarily. But, I am afraid to say this… even today women often take a step back when it comes to financial planning. Even many professional women with flourishing careers do not take charge of their big personal finance decisions.

Here are some alarming statistics from a research which I am working upon. It is conducted on 350 women who are residents of Indore and Bhopal. The key statistics which I would like to share with you all.
l 6 out of 10 working women earn less than 4 lakhs per year.

l At the age 60, women have an average life expectancy of 20 years, (For men it is 17 years).
l Almost ¼ th of the women over 40 years of age are unmarried due to various reasons.

l From age 55 years onwards, women are more than twice as likely as men to be widowed, divorced, separated or never married.

l At age 65 years and older, 40 per cent of women live alone.

l 59.8 per cent of women are kept out of share in the poverty.

l Social Security represents 47 per cent of total income for unmarried women over 65years of age.

l In 2017, women’s salaries averaged 67 per cent as compared to men’s salaries.
Over the years, data indicates in general that, women tend to express their concerns and anxieties on a variety of issues more than men do. Women are significantly less likely as compared to men to say they feel financially secure. Women respondents are more worried about different financial matters. The top worries and their scores are: (Please see the infographic pie chart)
While women in general worry more about financial issues.Money/ Finance is something which is continually in our mind and we are worried about. Financial Planning is a specialised skill that matches the needs and preferences of any investor/s with the risk and return features of various investment avenues. It basically takes care of dreams of an individuals and the goals at various stages of life in a manner with the asset allocation and taking care of risk factor, thus to ensure fulfillment of the same as best as possible. According to fpsbindia.org “Financial Planning (FP) is the process of meeting your life goals through the proper management of your finances.”

Financial independence is source of confidence as well as it gives the women opportunity and authority to be the part of important matters while making for themselves and for their families too. This is empowering women financially, making her the participant in the process and giving her ability to “control her own life and rights. India needs independent and empowered women. Supporting women to be financially independent is a key step towards this goal.

Financial planning means deciding in advance how much to spend, on what to spend according to the funds at one’s disposal. It gives clarity in life, provides direction and meaning to financial decisions. Basically it is a process of determining ways to earn, save and spend money and the amount that one needs to earn, invest and spend. By planning our finances, we manage our money such that we achieve our life goals.
Women need to organise one’s finances in the most efficient manner that will help her realise her own financial goals. FP needs to be done with involvement of all family members and their goals needs to be incorporated. Since women are the main component of any family, they know the well the goals of all the members of family like child’s education, holiday, retirement, etc are common, it is most effective when all members get involved in the FP. More importantly women need to plan her finance in the most efficient manner for herself too.

“Only 32 per cent of working women in india make their own decisions about investments”. Government is promoting financial education for women. The welfare schemes are being also launched, initiatives are being taken and even money is being allotted for success of the same. I feel women need better and more professional FP for themselves and themselves alone. They are capable of handling money on their own. Women are much stronger, both emotionally and spiritually and that is why they can do a better job of it if only they put their mind into it.

Financial independence means you have enough wealth to live on without working. Financially independent people have assets that generate income (cash flow) that is at least equal to their expenses. Thus, financial independence in simple terms is the ability to earn a living that enables one to pay for ones expenses. In today’s era, it is important for every individual to be financially independent - be it men or women. It is important to understand that at present; quite many women have to live their retired lives alone due to their longer life spans or separation from their spouse. Hence, women might have to handle their financial situation alone at some point of their lives.
In times of emergenciesA lot of situations could have been managed without too much financial stress if the lady of the house was also financially independent. To meet the rising cost of living If women are financially independent they can not only contribute to the daily expenses of the household, but also help to meet the family’s financial goals.

For raising self-morale
Financially independent people are capable of taking their own decisions and don’t have to depend on anybody.
To stop feeling helplessIt is extremely important that every woman becomesfinancially independent so that they never have to feel helpless in life.
To become a role-model
A woman who is capable of standing on her own feet and has an opinion of her own is a role-model and a source of inspiration for other women in the society.

Make yourself the priority
My first advice to all women would be, not to give up their professional lives easily, and try to work out a solution, where you can continue to be financially independent. Also, take care of yourself and indulge yourself once in a while. Remember, a healthy mind and stable income is the two must-haves for implementing any financial plan.
Build financial confidence Women need to understand that being truly financially independent is not just about earning money, but to utilise it smartly as well. So, start reading about FP, have honest conversations with your spouse, family, and friends and consult financial experts. Initially start with smaller amounts and slowly start taking charge of your personal finance.

Insurance policies are extremely important for working women as an unforeseen event can adversely affect the overall financial well-being of her. Look for policies designed especially for women. Choose a regular health policy with additional benefits for maternal and child care.
Plan for financial goals Financial planning is about preparing for the future. Today, with a plethora of investment instruments available, building a strong financial portfolio only requires smart planning and disciplined investment over a period of time.Think about retirementEvery independent woman should start investing for their retirement corpus right from the start of her career. This will give investments more time to grow and benefit from the power of compounding.

It is important to have a working knowledge of the Financial Planning. Disciplined actions are crucial. Of course, it is not possible to predict the future,but a sound financial plan will help you and your loved ones to tide over the good and bad.Having an idea of where you are and where you want to go financially is an important first step. “Be a woman dressed with strength , dignity and pride , and laugh without the fear of future.” (The author is Founder Director - Quest Edustation - Training and Learning Solutions. She can be contacted at [email protected])