Low savings levels were a key factor behind women feeling under-confident about their financial situation, with many female advice clients putting the financial needs of others in the family before their own, according to new MLC research. A new study from the National Australia Bank-owned wealth management group revealed 43 per cent of women did not feel in control of their financial situation, and that of that group, 61 per cent flagged low savings levels as the main reason behind their insecurities about their finances. Disconcertingly, almost one-third of female respondents said they had less than a month’s savings to live off if they found themselves unable to work, and just 34 per cent said they were putting extra money into their superannuation on top of their employer’s payments. MLC Advice general manager Jasia Fabig said the results of the research revealed a similar picture to what the group’s advisers were seeing among female clients. “What we often see is that women put the interests of others before their own and at key moments in life – divorce, death, illness or job loss – they are severely impacted,” Fabig said. “Women and their money matter and we want them to be able to weather financial storms.” Despite often not prioritising savings or super, the study found many women were making good progress on home ownership, with 81 per cent saying they thought they would own their own home when they retired and 77 per cent confirming they would have less than $50,000 left on their mortgage at retirement. However, Fabig said the issue of low super contributions was a problem MLC would like to see addressed among female clients. As such, the group is offering 500 free general advice sessions for women until the end of January.
By Sarah Kendell
29 November 2017