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    Kate Thomas

    Women in Australia retire with an average 40% less superannuation than men. Around 50, we may be thinking about retirement, but for most of us, there simply isn’t enough money.

    There are so many reasons we don’t usually have enough money for retirement. We took time out of paid work to raise our families; we earned 23% less while we were in the workforce; we may be single, and have left a relationship with only our own super; and we may not own our home.

    Women around 50 are 44% of the women in Australia, and the fastest growing group of homeless. But homelessness is the combination of many factors – all financial. Most fifty-ish women experience some of them. Besides a lack of super and not owning our homes, we work in casual or part-time work with little security. Our lives can be a precarious balance, with no safety net.

    Women tend to manage our personal finances from an emotional angle, rather than practical. While there is much written about women managing money, the fact is that we generally don’t bring in as much as men over our lifetime. So we are at a disadvantage immediately. We often make financial choices in favour of our families, rather than ourselves. Combine that with a lack of experience and confidence with money management, and you get a worrying picture.

    There are plenty of resources for us to access to help with our finances. But if you are caring for grandchildren, on call for your parents, working a casual job which you need to keep, and on your own, then accessing good financial advice can be low on the priority list. While that is no excuse for neglect, it is simply a fact.

    Do you struggle to manage your money? What are your challenges?

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