A REPORT prepared by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) that maps gender equality progress in South Africa states that “women outnumber men in higher education.” In the past seven years there has been a steady increase in the number of graduating females. 55.2% of postgraduate enrolments are female. • Women’s financial responsibility is growing Women are primary caregivers and breadwinners, more economically active, and have debt, like bonds and cars. The non-financial contributions that women make in the home are not fully quantified, but need to be catered for when doing a financial plan. Life insurance provides a safety net for this provision.• Being single Whether through never being married, divorce or widowhood, women will find themselves single at some point in their lifetime. It is a fact that generally women will outlive men, so it is critical that they learn about and are in control of their finances, as they will have to manage their own money. • Yours, mine, ours With a high rate of divorce (one in three marriages end in divorce), and many women choosing to delay having a family until after they are established in their careers, blended families are becoming more common. It is vital for women to have enough cover for themselves, their children, his children (e.g. what happens if your partner loses everything, dies or is disabled), and any other dependents arising from the new relationship. Relying on the husband’s financial plan alone could lead them into trouble as his assets might have to be shared with an ex-spouse and children from a previous relationship.• Women with retirement plans generally save 5% of their salary, versus 15% saved by men Women will live longer than men, therefore, their pension needs to last longer, yet very few have enough retirement savings. Women would rather help an adult child in need, than stick to their savings plan. Isn’t it ironic that whilst their best intention is to provide for and protect their children, they could An example: A 30-year old woman with a degree would need to save 13.94% of her gross monthly salary to earn 75% of her final salary in retirement (the net replacement ratio), purely because at that point, she is expected to live five years longer (to age 89) than her male counterpart.• The importance of a Will Women are sentimental, so the importance of a Will cannot be over-emphasised. Women want to have control as to how their assets are distributed, as this is often an emotional decision. You could contact me on 083 399 3905, my office on 032-944 3051 or e-mail me on email@example.com for an appointment to discuss the above or further advice on any other financial matter. The information is only intended to be of a general nature and should not be relied upon by any part without obtaining full details from a licensed financial service provider.