Financial Education for Women
Women today excel in every field. Many of them work full time in offices and also manage the family. The modern woman multi tasks. She manages a full time career and also takes care of the children. Women are very good at managing the family budget and household expenses. No matter how less money you give your wife, she is able to manage the household budget and also saves some money for a rainy day. In spite of all the achievements of the modern women, when it comes to making financial decisions, she takes the back seat.
In families in India, women are not allowed to take financial and investment decisions. These decisions are left to their fathers, brothers or husbands. While buying life insurance, investing in mutual funds or even availing a loan, women of the house are not consulted.However women in India require financial planning and in some cases more than men.
Why women need financial planning?
- Women tend to live longer than men and require money after their husbands retirement/untimely demise. The retirement corpus needs to be large enough to accommodate their needs.
- Non working women, face financial difficulties in case of a divorce or unexpected death of the spouse.
- Many women in India take a break from work, either temporarily or permanently after marriage. Birth of a child or family pressures are the main reasons, many women leave their high paying jobs. They stay at home and take care of the children. This may affect their earning potential, making financial planning very important for them.
This means women need to be financially literate and concentrate on the financial investments of the family.
What details women should know to do efficient financial planning?
- Women should know details of all the financial assets of the family. Where the family income comes from? Is it just the salary of her spouse? Does the family earn a rental income?
- Women should know where important documents pertaining to life insurance policies, health insurance and house/property papers are kept. Where the car insurance papers, identity and address proof documents are stored. Women should keep a track of all these documents.
- Where the spouse’s will is stored. This is one document which can prevent family quarrels and endless trips to the court.
- Most of today’s financial investments are all online. Demat accounts, online life insurance and auto insurance plans are all forms of online investment. Imagine if the woman does not know that there is an e-life insurance policy, in which she is the nominee. Women must know the user ids and passwords, so that they can access details of demat accounts and e-life insurance policies. They must stay updated on the current status of these investments and life insurance policies.
- Women need to know the nomination status of all the family investments. She needs to check if she is a nominee in a life insurance plan. Is she the nominee in her husband’s PPF or the EPF? Is she the nominee in her husband’s demat account? Is she a joint account holder in her spouse’s bank account? Does this bank account have a survivorship clause? If yes, she becomes the owner of the bank account on her husband’s demise.
- She needs to keep the contact number and other essential details of the financial advisor/insurance agents/brokers whom her spouse used to deal with.
How women can do financial planning?
- Women need to save and invest regularly, to learn the art of financial planning. They need to explore the boundaries of financial investments. They need to familiarize themselves with investments in gold and equity mutual funds.
- Women need to maintain an emergency fund, with at least 3-6 months worth of family expenses. This is saving for a rainy day.
- Women need to save money to spend on themselves, after their husband’s retirement. They must not depend on their husband to save for them. They need to invest in long term financial instruments such as PPF and equity mutual funds.
The financial future of women is in their own hands. They need to seize the moment and do their financial planning.