Did you know that Australian women retire with an average $92,000 less than men? 40 per cent of single women retire into poverty and 60 per cent of women aged 65-69 have no superannuation.
These statistics are undeniably alarming, especially as life expectancy increases and those dollars have to stretch even further.
The short-term financial thinking that many of us succumb to means that we are not giving ourselves the best chance to access greater wealth in the long term, and pregnancy is a crucial moment when this way of thinking could be challenged.
So here are some top tips to help new and expectant parents secure a better financial future.
1. Set a professional vision
A professional vision is a grown up way of answering the question ‘what do you want to be when you grow up?’ It’s a bit like a career navigation system, anchoring you to your values and your family’s priorities, while still enabling you to stay true to the dream of what your career could look like. Having a professional vision and being able to articulate it to your managers and colleagues will be extremely valuable during back-to-work negotiations.
2. Abandon gender stereotypes
If you’re entitled to paid parental leave and your salary pales in comparison to your partner’s, it can make sense for you to stay at home and tend to your newborn’s needs. But it isn’t the only way, and it is worth mapping the leave entitlements of each partner and factoring in superannuation over the long term to your decision-making processes.
Once this is decided, work to abandon gender stereotypes doesn’t end there. What does gender equality at home look like to you? How could it work in your family?
3. Know your value
60 per cent of women have never asked for a pay rise, compared with 46 per cent of men, and those that did asked for around $1800 less than men. Many women feel grateful to have a job after they have kids, and shy away from striving for what they really deserve. Knowing your value can help you get recognised and compensated in line with your career goals.