How often do you think about money? If you’re anything like me, you might keep track of small expenditures, and roll your eyes at the ever-increasing weekly grocery bill. You may have invested time in getting the best mortgage rate or insurance deal. Or perhaps you might put some saving plans in place for the bigger expenditures, like home renovations or a family holiday. But how much planning have you put into saving for retirement? Have you considered how much you will need? Or what will happen if you can no longer rely on your spouse’s income or superannuation?

In the hub-ub of family life, retirement can seem like a life-time away. But for many mums, a career break to care for children can seriously affect superannuation savings.

Recently, I attended the Flex, Finance and Your Future event. I learned a lot about women and super. Some of the statistics presented painted a rather gloomy picture about the gap between men and women’s super savings.

In fact, Women in Super, a not-for-profit organisation advocating to improve women’s retirement prospects and access to superannuation, report that the median super balance for women aged 45 – 54 is $30, 000. This is just 45% of the median balance of $67,000 for men of the same age group.

The key reasons given for this disparity are that 43% of women work part-time, and on average, women’s salaries are 19% lower than men’s. The other key reason is that during the prime super-contributing years, women, on average, take five years out of the paid workforce to care for children or family members.

So, how can you bridge the gap and boost your retirement savings?

Strategies can include putting savings into super early in your career to plan for career breaks. Ensuring you have all your super in one place, and doing your research to select the super-fund that’s best for you. Most importantly, get advice! Many super funds have dedicated resources for women. Take time out to do your research and seek professional financial advice.

You might also find useful information at these links:

Ensuring your financial independence in retirement could be another great reason to take the plunge now, and go after your dream career. Find out how CareerSmart Mums can empower and equip you for a successful transition back to the workforce today.

How would you sum up your financial future?

The information provided in this article is general in nature, and does not take into account your individual needs, objectives or financial situation. Before making any financial decisions, you should seek the advice of a qualified, licenced financial advisor, to help you decide what products and actions are appropriate for your circumstances.