Saturday, 29 August 2015

6 Reasons A Woman Needs To Be Financially Independent

Shattering The ‘Glass Ceiling’ Forever

I’m sure you’ve heard about the glass ceiling; the invisible but extremely strong barrier that women find themselves up against when it comes to becoming a high earner. This term is mostly used to describe ‘career women’ climbing the corporate ladder who no matter how hard they work, how smart or how capable they are, never seem to ascend to the heights of their male compatriots.

But for most of us, the ‘Glass Ceiling’ simply applies to the amount of money we can realistically earn based on our life situation, our generational conditioning and our other responsibilities. Your education and the opportunities you see will be largely impacted by the country of your birth and the decade in which you were born. 

Times are changing but for many of us the traditional roles of women remain the norm. 

Whilst many women work either part or full time to make ends meet for their family, the jobs we choose, or have access to are often poorly paid in comparison to those of our partner. This is particularly true for women who are juggling children and family responsibilities or who have returned to work once their children are independent. The opportunities for women who need flexibility to be available for their family or who have joined the work force after many years away, are limited.

The fact that our world is changing so fast, is the very reason it is absolutely vital for every woman to claim her financial independence and ensure that she is in control of her own destiny. You can no longer rely on a man to provide for your future. And why would you want to?

“A rich man is not a financial plan” - Kim Kiyosaki

The security we have taken for granted just doesn’t exist and the statistics illustrate this very clearly.

Can You Support Yourself On What You Currently Earn?
On average the salary rates for women are still 25% less than those for men. Remember that this is an average and therefore includes the women who are highly successful in their chosen career. Chances are unless you are one of them, your earning capacity could be well below this. If you had to support yourself on what you currently earn, could you do it?

Happily Ever After?
Once upon a time we married and believed that we were set for life. But the current divorce rates show a very different picture. Nobody want’s to plan for the death of a relationship, but even the most seemingly successful marriages often end in pain and misery. People change, circumstances and events create upheaval and often when we least expect it, relationships end. 

But even within a marriage or long term relationship, the importance of financial independence should not be overlooked. Being dependant on someone else makes you feel inferior, creates resentment and has a massively negative effect on your self-esteem. Asking for money makes you feel like a child and is humiliating! Besides, when retirement age rolls around, your man will be expecting you to cut your cloth to suit a reduced income. Are you ready to give up your current lifestyle just because your husband has changed his?

This infographic shows the current divorce rates around the world.

Death And Taxes
Most of us know that women generally outlive men but have you ever thought about what that actually means for you? With the life expectancy at 80 years for women and just 76 for men, and many women choosing men who are older, you may need to be self-reliant for a long time. You may be due an inheritance from your parents, or have a nest egg put aside but often the cost of elderly care and inheritance tax can eat this away leaving very little for you to rely on. 

65+ And Alone
Did you know that 60% of women over the age of 65 live alone? That means that more than half of us are either choosing to live alone or are alone due to a change in circumstances. Alone doesn’t necessarily mean lonely but it does mean you are responsible for your own finances. And in some countries, retirement is enforced at 65 leaving you to rely on your investments or the state pension for survival. 

State Pension & Poverty
If you are in your twenties, thirties or even your forties, retirement seems a very long way away and you many not have given it more than a fleeting thought. But statistics now show that 21% of women over sixty five are considered below the poverty line (compared with 14% of men) with only a state pension to live off (if you are lucky enough to live in a country that has one). And due to the overall earning capacity of women, our pension is approximately 25% lower than that for a man (exactly the same percentage as for salary rates). 

Job Security Is A Myth
The number one reason people stay in a job is for the security of an income and of a pension. But since 2008 things have really changed. More and more men in their late 40’s and early 50’s, men at the top of their game, at the top of the corporate ladder are being made redundant, given a lump sum payout and sent on their way. Their dedication and commitment to their career means nothing in the light of business economics. Why pay someone a huge salary for another 10 years when you can pay someone younger half the money and get 25 years work out of them? 

Over the past few years, I am hearing this so often. And the men being fired are completely shocked and often devastated. They have set their life up to rely on the current income for the next however many years and have mortgages and commitments that often leave them gasping. In years gone by, they would simply walk into another job, but not any more. Many of these men cannot find a job and they are left depressed, afraid and having to make massive changes in their lives. If you are married to one of these men, your life will change in an instant!

SO now that I have terrified you with the statistics, how can you shatter the Glass Ceiling once and for all? 

You can build a business or create investments that will continue to generate income no matter what your age, education level, circumstances or living conditions. You can start today to make changes that will set in motion the financial independence you need. Why not maximise the opportunities you have now before its too late?

It’s time to take responsibility for your life and for your financial future.

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