When Michael Obama visited Spain she said “Men who change diapers are praised and women who stay late at work are blamed”. As a rule of thumb, women earn less than men for the same job. As women, we have the responsibility to change this culture and it is one of the most important challenges of our generation. We have to tell boys that it is normal to cry and that girls can be great leaders.
We have the power to change this for us and for our daughters and sons. We need to be responsible for our individual economy and our money. We have to be aware about the importance of personal economic independence and we need to demand equality in our work environment. We need to feel free to ask for a raise and to choose our own career path without feeling guilty for not staying at home with our kids.
And what about our economy and our life goals? Do they exist? Very few women have a financial plan, although they are usually the best at managing their household economy. Only a few, have clear life goals (moving out from their parents, study, entrepreneurship, have kids, travel, retirement…) and have a financial plan to fulfil their goals.
Financial education is the foundation to learn to love money and manage it so that we can achieve our goals.
Today in Spain, women earn 34% less retirement pension than men, and that’s a figure that will not likely improve in the coming years as women in the age group of 35 to 55 have contributed 29% less than men due to part-time work, maternity leave, time off to take care of kids and parents or having a lower wage. Women who have stayed at home to take care of their children because men earned more money will find themselves deprived of a fair retirement pension. Retirement pensions are personal and non-transferable and women are disadvantaged due to the current financial culture. The path to freedom and independence starts with financial freedom.
Whatever the level of personal income, we need to learn to manage and review our expenses, adapt, save and always think long term. Financial planning with a professional advisor is strongly recommended. To work on our financial literacy doesn’t mean we need to know all about bonus, IRR or the Sharpe Ratio. What really matters is to have a budget for savings and to diversify investments. It is not advisable to put all our eggs in the same basket. Commitment and perseverance are key factors to financial security and we must not be alarmed by the news as the markets adjust in the long term.
Some of you may not know what you can get by investing as little as 20€ per month, from the day your child is born until he turns 18 years old. Properly diversified and managed, the yields can be extraordinary.
We need to change our culture but first, we need to take care of our money and achieve financial freedom.
Taking responsibility for our personal economy is the path to freedom and it’s our choice.
by www.gemmavoltas.es Financial advisor