Planning to succeed

Women need financial planning to secure the future

Women are playing a direct role in today’s economy, but many are not realising their full financial potential over the short to long term period.

The increase of the number of women with bank accounts in South Africa is a good indicator of how many women are now contributing to the economy.

Research conducted in the Visa Women’s Money Matters Survey found that, of the 2000 respondents, 71% currently have a savings account at a bank, 37% have a pension or provident fund, 35% own a house and at least 10% of women in a relationship have a secret bank account of which their partner is unaware.

These statistics show that South African women are seeking their own financial growth. However, the same survey also shows that only 27% look to professionals for advice on how to handle their money. Above all, most women think that buying shares is their “worst investment choice”.

Not enough women get to spend time with professional financial planners and find out what financial products and services will suit their specific needs and objectives. As a result, many are not realising their financial goals.

Financial planners work with customers to fulfil their specific goals. This makes financial planning less complicated. A financial planner will help you understand what your goals are and how to achieve them.

It doesn't matter how much you earn – asking a professional for advice will make a big difference when it comes to meeting your financial goals and needs.

The fact is that most men and women alike are not saving enough.

Some long-term investment options that women prefer include pension/provident funds or home loans. However, only 37% have a pension/provident fund and only 35% own a house.

More women need to have investments over the long term. They also need to consider how to get the most out of tax concessions. To make tax work for you, though, it's best to ask for professional advice.

Another interesting insight to come out of the survey was that about 70% of women have no personal risk cover such as income protection, dread disease and disability cover. Not having this kind of cover leaves women vulnerable – not only do they have pay for any medical treatment they might need, but they also have to find a way to provide for their families when they can't work. So taking out an insurance policy that enables you to pay for these costs is an excellent form of financial planning.

There are so many choices when it comes to personal finance that it can paralyse the mind. But no matter what your situation, income bracket or age, every woman should enlist the services of a financial professional to help reach their day-to-day, medium and long-term financial goals to improve their personal financial wellness and that of their family.

The increased number of women who use some form of professional financial services has helped the economy to grow and has empowered more women to be financially stable. As a result, they have taken control of their future.

Women are playing a direct role in today’s economy, but many are not realising their full financial potential over the short to long term period.

Deon Nel, Head of Standard Bank Financial Consulting at Standard Bank