Do conversations about financial stress need to be gender specific?
Updated: Aug 26, 2019
Money is a difficult topic. Money values have been ingrained at a young age, and financial stress affects both teenagers and retirees alike. Financial stress is costly, with over 69% of Australian employees working for medium and large businesses identifying as financially stressed. It’s a problem that costs Australian businesses $47.2 billion in revenue each year, but do conversations around financial stress need to be gender specific as well as age specific?
While research among the general population often shows that women are more financially stressed, The Financial Wellness Group’s research of employees shows that men working in medium and large sized companies may be slightly more financially stressed (34%) than women (31%).
However, there are many factors at play, including the statistic that 43.9%of women are working part-time compared to only 15.3% of men, and the gender pay gap is an important issue which ultimately causes increased financial stress for women. Each year, women earn over $13,000 less than their male counterparts. According to Commbank’s whitepaper ‘Women’s financial wellbeing guide,’ “for women, financial wellbeing can be more challenging to achieve than for men. There are structural and systemic issues to contend with, like the gender wage gap and a superannuation system that provides greater benefits to full-time workers who don’t take parental or carers leave.”
These issues lead to significant gaps in superannuation. By 2030, it’s projected that men will retire with an average of $432,000 whereas women will retire with an average of $262,000. While many Australians don’t effectively plan as far ahead as retirement while they’re in the workforce.
Commbank’s recommendations for achieving financial wellbeing include…
1. Splitting your paycheck to account for three areas:
Every day Managing your day-to-day finances
Rainy day Being ready for the unexpected
One day Making your financial goals a reality
This is similar to Scott Pape’s ‘Jam Jar’ recommendation [watch here]
2. Start small because it’s never too late to build financial independence
While many foundational principles around money and financial wellness remain gender neutral, we believe financial conversations don’t only need to niche to gender and age, but by uniquely individual circumstances. It’s important to consider full context and develop individualised plans to make financial stress history.
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