(c) South Africa Institute of Chartered Accountants. Contact SAICA for permission to reproduce this article., Health, Pensions, Risk Management

Women should be planning their own financial security

By Tiffany Boesch

According to the National Cancer Registry, one in every 33 women in South Africa is at risk of contracting breast cancer over the course of her lifetime. With October being breast cancer awareness month, this serves as a timely reminder of how important it is for women to plan financially to ensure their own financial security as well as that of their dependants.

Women should make an effort to visit or revise their financial portfolios every year to ensure that they have sufficient insurance in place to provide for themselves and their families in the unfortunate event that they are no longer capable of working due to sickness or disability. Below are some financial considerations for women:

  • Women’s growing financial responsibility: Women are increasingly becoming more economically active and primary breadwinners with debts like home or car repayments to service, including credit and retail cards, insurance premiums and school fees.
  • Being single: Whether never married, divorced or widowed, many women will find themselves single at some point in their lifetime. Married women also generally outlive their husbands, therefore it is critical that they learn about and are in control of their finances, as it is most likely that they will have to manage their own finances at some stage.
  • Yours, mine, ours: With the current high divorce rate and many career women choosing to delay having a family, blended families – the merging of two people with children from previous relationships – are becoming commonplace. Women may need to have enough cover for themselves, their own children, their partner’s children and any other dependents arising from a new relationship.
  • Men usually save 15% of their salary for retirement, women only 5%: As the above statistics indicate, most women will live longer than men, therefore their pension savings need to last longer to ensure that they have enough retirement savings to last throughout their retirement years.

Tiffany Boesch CA(SA) is group financial director of PPS

This article was originally published in ASA.