Divorce Death & Fairytales – Achieve Financial Independence
Avoid the Financial D’s - Property Investment Melbourne
As little girls growing up, we have all seen the Disney animated fairy tales where the prince rescues the commoner and falls in love, or the Hollywood movie ‘happy ever after’ endings.
As women, we have been conditioned from a very young age by the media, the entertainment industry and even our families to assume we will meet our dream man (or woman), settle down and maybe even have children. And of course, we will live happily ever after…
While there is always the chance of that coming to fruition, what they don’t tell you is how it can turn to crap and what the consequences of this can be if it happens!
For those of us who have been around the block a couple of times, we have all seen, heard of or experienced the effects of a marriage or de facto coupling and an ensuing separation or divorce. For those who haven’t experienced it, you may well have grown up in a single parent family yourself and witnessed the emotional and financial devastation that can be wreaked upon a family when this happens.
What this all adds up to is that women, by definition, have a harder time achieving their financial independence.
That can leave women socially and economically vulnerable to the three deadly financial Ds if they are reliant on their partners: divorce, death and desertion.
If these strike, a woman approaching middle age can find herself without her financial independence or worse facing retirement with what some have coined ‘Middle class homelessness’; facing old age with precious little income and the indignity of having to share accommodation.
At the end of the day, the most important way women can empower themselves is by being financially independent. This allows a woman to have choices - be it to leave an abusive or controlling relationship or simply take time out between jobs if so desired.
Steps to prevent this disaster from happening include;
- Don’t wait for others to get the ball rolling when it comes to creating your own financial independence because time is of the essence. This thing called compound growth has a massive impact on your financial outcome and for every 10 years you wait, your wealth decreases by half!
- Always keep your emotions out of it when making financial decisions. This is what leads to bad decisions being made time and time again. Deal in facts and move forward on that basis.
- While the fairy tale may happen, hope for the best but always plan for the worst. Seek professional advice around investment structuring and how to protect assets, especially if you plan to have children.
- If you have or plan to have children, you must factor in the time you will have away from the workforce and how this will affect your income AND your ability to fund your retirement via superannuation contributions.
- As nurturers, many women tend to put others ahead of themselves, sacrificing their own needs and financial security in the process. It is NOT selfish to create your own financial security ahead of helping your children.
In fact it’s important to teach your daughters in particular to look after themselves first. I see plenty of 45+ year old female clients who are torn trying to decide if they should buy their children a property to give them a helping hand, buy property in Melbourne themselves, or create an income for retirement. To be blunt - STOP IT! If women don’t look after themselves first, they can’t help their children and never assume your kids will look after you in return. They simply may not be able to, or could have a spouse that will prevent it from happening. This is a contributing factor to the increase of ‘middle class homelessness’ among women aged 50+.
- Don’t assume gold digging is a female only trait. As I have gotten older I see plenty of men seeking to hook up with women who are financially secure. They may be toy boys looking for a sugar mummy or older men who have themselves hit hard times or divorced, so protect your assets and learn what situations, such as living with a partner, can make you financially vulnerable. Then put agreements in place to protect yourself.
While it may appear that I am painting a picture of doom and gloom, it’s a sad reality for many and will only get worse over time if women don’t start taking action to empower themselves financially. There are many investment opportunities that can provide you with financial independence including property investment in Melbourne. To find out more, contact our friendly team of buyer’s agents today.