Why women need to talk about money

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Women are participating in the workforce and gaining tertiary qualifications at a greater rate than ever before but many women lack confidence when it comes to money.

Research by ASIC found:

  • 46% of women find money decisions overwhelming and stressful [1]
  • On average, women retire with half the super balance of men ($230,907 versus $454,221) [2], and
  • 85% of women under 35 don’t understand fundamental investment concepts [3].

Women need to talk about money, so they can share stories and learn.

If they are not comfortable making decisions about their finances today, Australian women run the risk of not getting the most benefit out of their money in the future.

ASIC wants to inspire and motivate more women to talk about money so they are more confident when making financial decisions. As part of ASIC’s established financial capability program, ASIC has released a series of videos – Women talk money – featuring Australian women sharing their personal money stories and habits.

‘We want women to engage with their finances and secure their own futures,’ said ASIC Commissioner Cathie Armour. ‘We want to encourage them to share their personal stories and have real conversations about money so they become empowered.  We believe this is the best way for women to have real control over their financial futures.

‘There are inequity issues to consider, the gender pay gap cannot be ignored,’ she said.  ‘And workforce issues are often further complicated by the fact that women tend to be carers – whether it’s for young children or elderly parents – and career breaks create situations where women don’t have the same continuity of earning their male counterparts have.

‘Women often focus on the everyday needs of their families and lives and have looked at money in a very immediate way. We want to change this and encourage women to look at money from a longer-term perspective.

‘More than 3.5 million [4] women visited ASIC’s MoneySmart website last year and they are accessing information to make informed decisions. However, we want more women to access and share the information we have designed for women to take control of their financial lives.

‘Talking about money is a good thing and ASIC is keen for women everywhere to join this conversation’, Ms Armour said.

ASIC is working hard to make women more aware of their finances and encourage them to make better decisions.  The women join ASIC’s Laura Higgins in conversation about a broad range of money topics including:

  • Good and bad money habits
  • Financial highs and lows
  • What advice they would give their younger selves
  • Managing money day to day
  • Planning for the future including superannuation, and
  • Making informed decisions.

In her conversation, Jane Caro talks about the value in big mistakes. ‘I got involved in a bad investment when I was young,’ she says. ‘I felt like a fool and that I was no good with money but what I would say now is those [events] are recoverable from. Learn from it.’

ASIC Deputy Chair Peter Kell emphasised that thinking long-term is important and he wants more women to plan for the future and think about their superannuation.

‘If young women are more engaged with their super, and stay engaged with it throughout their careers, they stand a much better chance of financial independence and self-determination in later years,’ Mr Kell said.

‘I encourage everyone to take the time to watch our women talk money videos and feel confident enough to have their own conversations about money with their family and friends.  The more we talk to each other about our financial experiences, both our successes and our failures, the more MoneySmart we become in our everyday life.’

The Women talk money videos are available on ASIC’s MoneySmart website and YouTube channel.

Background

ASIC is the lead Australian Government agency for financial literacy, consistent with its strategic priority and statutory objective to promote confident and informed consumers and investors.

ASIC’s financial capability program includes:

  • leading the National Financial Literacy Strategy
  • providing consumer information via ASIC’s MoneySmart, and
  • delivering ASIC’s MoneySmart Teaching program.

The National Financial Literacy Strategy, led and coordinated by ASIC, is a framework to guide policies, programs and activities that aim to strengthen Australians’ financial capability.

Women have been identified as a priority audience in the National Financial Literacy Strategy given the challenges they face around lower retirement savings, longer life expectancies and the societal barriers that make them vulnerable to the negative outcomes of poor financial decisions.


[1] Australian Financial Attitudes and Behaviours Tracker (AFAB), Wave 6, 2018

[3] Australian Financial Attitudes and Behaviours Tracker (AFAB), Wave 5, July 2017

[4] Google Analytics for 2017-2018

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