Woman 2.0 The empowered one

Today’s woman is empowered, mature and has become an integral part of the decision making for the family.

Majority of today’s woman clients – whether single, married or divorced have been making financial decisions that are 1. Grounded 2. Practical 3. Realistic and more importantly independent of their male counter parts.

Could it be out of their experiences like divorce and separation that has made them more pragmatic and realistic on their finances?

Even for married women,  building an independent retirement corpus, however small, – even if it were at their own pace is important.

For single mothers and divorcees; having access to liquid money is their biggest security and therefore, want to have an emergency fund in place..

They say, “In these uncertain times of job loss, medical emergency, debt burden, it is imperative, an easy withdrawal amount, is made available to them with easy and quick access..

Whatever be the case, today’s’ working woman’ wants to realise  their financial goals on their own, without considering their spouse’s investments or assets as resources to meet these goals- even though it is with baby steps.

What does this mean? A new age of independent empowered woman are wanting to be their own savers and stand on their feet independent of their spouse’s income, assets, saving capabilities however substantial the other half’s contribution could be and however small their contribution could be!

Below are some of the investment patterns we see while women are planning their finances today.

Budgeting- Most of the cash flow statements require a final audit check by the woman of the household. Naturally! She has been taking care of expenses like grocery, essentials, maids, water electricity, internet mobile and so on. When the Cash flow statement is discussed, we insist, that both husband and wife, as a couple discuss this together, to highlight fixed expenses, discretionary expenses, committed savings and liabilities correctly. Very often, it is the woman who has been able to get the cash flow statement in order with more realistic spending  patterns for the family, by maintaining her own form of household  expenses and savings.

Self Medical Corpus- The woman would like to create a medical corpus independent of health insurance to ensure that their family’s future is secure from medical emergencies that can arise suddenly and where no medical insurance plans would cover the costs. This corpus she says “has to take care of expenses that are not covered in health insurance and which my family can face in the retirement years.”

Conservative approach to Investments- Since their life is unplanned, full of events that are often erratic,  their approach to investing is “safety first”. After completing their education, and  working for a few years, they need to take a break because of child birth. Then  again after the sabbatical, they want to come back to a regular job. Some mothers take another break, or work flexible timings when her own kids are growing up and need attention.  Then again, some need a break  at the time of ageing parents. Playing multiple roles as mother, daughter, wife, and a career woman and having sporadic working careers s, has what has enabled women to multi task effectively. This has led to making  investments decisions that focus on safety, liquidity and flexibility.

Saving Capacity :  Working women are always unclear of their future career growth, but at the same time would like to make hay while the sunshine’s. Such women, showed discipline in their savings, future planning and goals with a clear focus. This creates a healthy saving habit with  the  ability to save almost up to 40% of their income at times! Sometimes, they are even willing to sacrifice the current lifestyle for their security and investment creation.

Debt Management: Like most people, women would like to be debt free as much as possible. Having minimal obligations in an uncertain working environment or for divorced single mothers, this becomes even more important. Hence, for such women, working towards reducing / closing debt is a priority, sometimes at the cost of compromising the current lifestyle.

For the home managers, accumulating gold , especially for their daughters is a “must-do” in their planning. Women set aside gold jewellry, gold coins, invest in gold ETFs or the sovereign gold bond scheme. Whatever be the mode,  they want to have a  gold set aside for that lavish indian wedding.

It is always the woman of the house who plans for the Vacation Goal and talks t the financial planner on the need for spending time at a foreign vacation preferably with their family.

In conclusion, today’s woman is empowered, and she is making independent investment choices for herself, and her family. Welcome to Woman 2.0

Dilshad Billimoria

Chief Financial Planner and Principal Advisor.

Dilzer Consultants Pvt Ltd.