Despite being smart, confident, stylish and multitaskers, women are still dependent on the men in their lives — father, brother, husband — to direct their finances. According to HDFC Life ValueNotes Life Freedom Index survey, 42% of urban women chalk out their financial plans with the help of their friends and relatives. But why would an educated, urban woman spin away from drafting her own financial plan?
No money matters, please!
According to financial experts, women believe they are incapable of managing their own finances. They also perceive finance to be a boring and difficult subject. However, this age-old tradition is now gradually changing.
Sarika Waje, 33, is a Global Knowledge Manager with a leading communication firm. She is the second wage earner in her family and is financially independent. “In today’s scenario, the standard of living is on the rise,” she says, adding, “It is very important to have a steady inflow of money coupled with sufficient savings. At present, most of my salary goes in paying-off my housing loan EMIs.”
When asked if she was exposed to sufficient financial knowledge, Sarika says, “I usually do my research but I also seek advice from my father and husband.”
Financially independent, but lack financial awareness
Urban women such as Sarika are becoming financially independent and have a higher sense of financial liberty. Lack of financial awareness will only lead to financial insecurity. A married urban woman is actively planning for her child’s education, health expenses and EMI payments. Her financial freedom also accords her the liberty to indulge in other luxuries such as family holidays and durables. The working single urban woman is ready to face the financial challenges of her life independently.
However, an urban woman is not completely financially free and needs improvement on aspects such as financial planning and financial discipline. But given her poor financial awareness, she is unable to review and realign her financial plan that can cover all her short-term and long-term financial goals.
It’s time to get into the driver’s seat and get a larger perspective of the road ahead. For starters, professional financial advice will help in achieving a comprehensive term plan. As per the LFI survey, only 26% urban women seek professional help from financial planners.
If investment plans are not taken care of, financial goals could transform a dream into a nightmare in the form of financial insecurity and a bumpy retirement.
Ms. Padalkar joined HDFC Standard Life in August 2008 after a seven year stint as Executive Vice President-Finance at WNS Global Services, an NYSE listed leading global business process outsourcing company. Vibha's key achievement during her tenure at WNS was to lead a team that successfully completed the Group's IPO on the New York Stock Exchange in a short span of six months. Prior to WNS, Vibha was with Colgate Palmolive India.View Complete Profile
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