Gender pay gap
How major life transitions such as divorce, marriage, motherhood affect women’s finances, and how to positively counter them
The adage – “A woman’s best protection is a little money of her own” – has been handed down to women for ages. Yet, many women find it difficult to have financial independence in life, thanks to perceived societal roles, mentally and physically transforming life stages and lack of awareness or assistance.
These, however, are modern times rooted in economic empowerment and all-round development for women. Women are seen breaking the glass ceiling across industries and roles that were earlier prejudiced against their perceived capabilities. Yet, one cannot deny that major life transitions – such as divorce, marriage and motherhood – have the potential to affect women’s finances enormously. What if we tell you that there are ways to positively counter them?
Major life transitions and their impact on women
Women can face these stages frequently in their life, which can cause unprecedented emotional and/or physical impacts on them, whether positive or negative. The direct repercussions of these major life events are, however, not limited to these. They also encompass one’s societal standing, family wellbeing and financial conditions.
Studies have shown that financial insecurity in grey divorces impact women more significantly, who experience a 45% decrease in lifestyle standards. The implications can also get severe, with higher poverty rates visible in divorcee women at older ages.
On the other hand, women who have just entered marriage might look forward to establishing a new life with their partner. They could be required to don multiple roles simultaneously besides planning for the future with their partner, all of which can give rise to financial needs and implications.
Another major life transition takes place in the form of motherhood. Women transform not just physically but also mentally and emotionally. Work-life is likely to take a hit unless women are engaging themselves in part-time work or gathering the conviction to pursue a full-time role despite compulsions. Attending to children and planning for their education, health and so on is also inevitable. Again, it is the finances that take a hit.
All these situations, no matter how difficult they can get, are also examples of decisions a woman has the right to take for herself – for her happiness and well-being. So, are there ways to counter these challenges positively? Yes, there are.
Improving financial literacy
The biggest challenge women face is financial illiteracy. Over the years, women are expected to first depend on their father or brother, then on their partner and eventually on their son. This leaves little understanding of the ups and downs of the financial world to them, leading to less awareness and knowledge. A life transition such as marriage, motherhood or divorce can, however, demand you to come to the fore.
With a sound understanding and awareness of your finances, you can make smarter decisions. You could start investing early for post-retirement goals as long-term goals. Just as importantly, you could think about health insurance, purchasing moveable and immovable assets, investing in mutual funds, gold or government-funded schemes. The decision or decisions, however, will be effective only with smart understanding and awareness on your part.
Taking the first step
Every woman must be prepared for the big upcoming stages in her life she knows might happen, sooner or later. This helps smooth unexpected and sudden life transitions without turning things upside down for you on the economic front. So, where do you begin?
A simple but effective first step is for you to get more involved and informed about family finances. Whether you are young and single or married or divorced, no stage is too late. Begin by openly communicating and striking candid conversations with your guardians or partner about your joint financial situation in the present.
Discuss short- and long-term goals for the future. Try to assess both your role and the impact on your life from the aspect of finances. A great step is to use scenario planning for events you do not want to happen but might not be able to avoid if they crop up. The focus should be on securing the future for your family and you.
Getting in touch with someone who can help
Things can get much simpler if you have someone to go to, each time you wish to learn, ask or see. What better than a knowledgeable professional? Professional expertise, a cost-effective, reliable and consistent one, can go a long way in improving financial literacy and countering life transitions positively. At Fea Money, we assist you in making the right money moves by focusing on you.
Our female-focused banking app is here to solve these pertinent issues for women who wish to take control of their finances and success. The ambit is large – we cater to anyone who identifies themselves as a woman in a way that is significant to them – trans women, non-binary, gender nonconforming and many others.
What we help you take care of includes every aspect of your financial health – bill payments, foreign exchange transfers, budgets, decision-making and tailored investment products. Our regularly updated interactive analytics help you make smart moves and automatic savings. Besides, our large accessible community can help you with female money matters through anonymous chats, relevant content and more.
Taking the initiative
While women are increasingly coming forward to don new roles that life offers them with aplomb, they must also cope with the advancing world’s ways. It would be best to try to be as independent as possible whether it comes to learning, earning, spending or saving. Fea Money helps women invest in themselves without having to depend on an individual. You learn and grow with a community of women and for women.
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