Women need up to $20,000 p.a. more than men in retirement

Christine Hornery

Christine Hornery

Women’s spending habits and the fact that they outlive their men means they need a separate retirement income stream between $12,000 and $20,000 a year more than their male partners, according to Christine Hornery, director of FMS Group.

“The truth is, women need more money than men but often earn less and therefore save less for retirement,” Ms Hornery says. “For women to have independence in retirement and feel a sense of worth and equality, they must contribute more to superannuation and have their own retirement income stream.”

Ms Hornery says hair and beauty costs alone push up a woman’s cost of living.

“Men can get away with spending $25 every five weeks on a hair cut; women often spend $150,” she says. “Men usually won’t start wearing make-up and using skin creams in retirement; women won’t stop using them. The needs of women are different to men and financial strategies don’t often reflect this, especially if the male has implemented the strategy to suit his own income stream needs.”

This means women must not only contribute more to their superannuation funds, they should also have financial strategies that are separate to traditional income stream and superannuation savings.

“Women have to become educated about their own financial situation, not just piggyback onto their partner’s knowledge of finances,” Ms Hornery says. “I sit in front of women every day who can’t afford to retire with the lifestyle they are used to living. Women must see the importance of being educated financially, even if they are in a relationship and start developing a plan so they can live the life they want to live now and be financially free in retirement.

Ms Hornery is the winner of the 2012 Association of Financial Advisers (AFA) Female Excellence in Advice Award.

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