Sponsored by Mortgage Choice/Core Data
Women can be pretty hard on themselves when it comes what financial success – or failure – looks like. But we’re determined to make it on our own terms.
A recent Mortgage Choice/CoreData white paper on financial fitness asked women a key question: What does financial success look like to you?
The responses were surprising. No mention of lotto wins or over reliance on husbands and partners.
It turns out that women generally just want to be comfortable rather than outrageously rich. The key, is that we want to get there independently.
Six out of ten women see financial success as being able to retire comfortably. Two-thirds simply don’t want to have to money worries, and 61% say living their preferred lifestyle is their idea of financial success.
These are simple goals for sure. But for many women – single mothers, casual workers, and divorcees rebuilding their financial identity, they can be tough targets.
On the plus side, nine out of ten women say they’re taking the right steps to reach their version of financial success.
Defining financial failure
Lurking in the background though are concerns about financial failure. And based on the research, our idea of fiscal failure is closely tied to a loss of independence – a fear of not being able to ‘make it’ on our own terms.
The prospect of being declared bankrupt is the number one sign of financial failure for the majority (57%) of Australian women. Chances are it’s an unfounded concern. The reality is that men far outweigh women in the bankruptcy stakes – by a margin of almost 2:1. Yet only 47% of men see bankruptcy as a sign of failure.
That notion of losing face, of not being able to cut it on our own, is there again in the second most common fear – the thought of losing our home and having to rent, or worse, having to return to the family home.
For over one in four (27%) women, having to stay in a marriage they no longer want to part of, is a sign of financial failure. It’s a fear shared by just 9% of men.
Success is a dish best shared
While women say they’re doing what it takes to achieve financial success, fewer than one in two (45%) believe they will reach their goals. But this could be a case of perception versus reality.
Actions speak louder than words, and women are ticking plenty of boxes when it comes to achieving financial success.
According to the research, one in two own their home. Four out of five regularly review their finances. We’re strong savers too – seven out of ten (73%) women set savings aside each pay day.
One area where women could take a step closer to reaching their goals is by seeking financial advice.
Two out of five women say they like to manage their own money but look for reliable advice to support their decisions. The problem is that this ‘reliable’ advice can come from a variety of quarters – friends, family, coworkers, all of whom may be well-intentioned but not necessarily skilled to give advice that’s right for someone else – as opposed to sharing what worked for them.
Only 5% of women partner with a financial adviser. Yet a good adviser can be like a money mentor, helping women achieve financial success independently rather than calling the shots for them.
It means having an expert to bounce ideas off and help us stay on track. Just as important, it’s about sharing success, and having someone who knows you, and the challenges you face, acknowledge that you’ve worked hard to achieve something that really matters – your financial wellbeing.
Bottom line, good advice could be the positive difference that sees more women achieve financial success own their own terms.
To download the Mortgage Choice’s full Financial Fitness report, click here.