ASIC has launched an online resource which it says is designed to help Australian women manage their finances throughout various stages of life and boost their superannuation balance.
According to the ASIC website, the tool has been designed in response to the “particular needs of women who face financial issues and challenges as a result of factors such as their greater likelihood of variable workforce participation, longer life expectancy and on average lower superannuation balances”.
“Research suggests there are differences in the way that women and men generally interact with finances, indicating the need for a tailored approach to financial education,” said ASIC.
Speaking to SMSF Adviser, Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia chief executive Pauline Vamos said it was important to have plenty of sources of information available for women.
“Our research shows women often do not feel comfortable when it comes to money – they don’t feel confident,” said Ms Vamos.
She said the focus should be on ensuring individuals “understand the basics first” in relation to financial literacy.
"It is important that they understand that they’ve got to put away as much as they can," she said. "The best way to do that is to budget; financial literacy is about doing the simple things often."
Ms Vamos said it is particularly important that women with SMSFs manage their financial wellbeing effectively since they are responsible for ensuring their money is invested properly and they are complying with the law.
“The important thing is to understand the responsibility you are taking on, and that is a much bigger issue than just financial literacy,” said Ms Vamos.
JBS Financial Strategies chief executive Jenny Brown said she believes women need to understand and get financial guidance throughout their lives and learn to take control of their finances from an early age.
“If they can plan for what life will bring then they may just end up well situated to retire as planned,” she told SMSF Adviser.
Similarly, Quantum Financial principal Claire Mackay stressed the importance of addressing financial literacy in Australia.
"This is a government agency trying to address a very real problem in society, and they should be congratulated for that. Financial literacy is a massive issue, and it’s really difficult to cut through," Ms Mackay told SMSF Adviser.
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