Saving for your retirement years may not be a top priority for young women, but the SPAA is calling on them to start thinking about the future.
On any given weekday there are a number of things that make the priority list: school lunches, work meetings and evening yoga classes are all up there when it comes to ticking off the most important items.
Making long-term plans for the future is something that many men and especially women often struggle with, but learning how to be 'financially engaged' could turn this around and help make sure you start your golden years on the right foot.
The Self-Managed Super Fund Professionals' Association of Australia (SPAA) said that as more and more female SMSF trustees take time to learn the ins and outs of life-long investment decisions their economic security is improving.
"The gap in superannuation balances between men and women tends to be narrower within SMSFs as women are more engaged with their finances, the fees for SMSFs are a lot lower and there is a growing number of women wanting to make their own decisions when it comes to retirement savings," chief executive officer of the SPAA Andrea Slattery said.
And reports from the Australian Tax Office (ATO) seem to support Ms Slattery's view that women are increasingly interested in the many ways they can benefit from learning more about their own personal finances.
Recent figures show that 46 per cent of SMSF members are female with an average member balance of $439,000 – well above those regulated by the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA), which has a member balance of about $22,000.
"We are seeing an increased interest among women to be more involved in the management of their finances when it comes to retirement planning which means there needs to be a greater focus among advisers on educating women in planning for their retirement," Slattery added.
But while recent figures reveal a narrowing between the sexes when it comes to active saving, the SPAA feels that more needs to be done to ensure that women make the most of their retirement years and take into account the unique challenges they face.
"Women who return to work after having children, for example, have the potential of earning decent wages," she said.
"However, the caps on their contributions in a period of their career when they can catch up on their retirement savings disadvantages them compared to those remaining in the workforce and reduces their superannuation balance when they retire."
Slattery said that regulatory changes could help influence saving patterns, so long as they also educated young women on possible retirement solutions.
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