According to statistics, many women face a daunting retirement — leaving work with 32% less super than men. We asked financial adviser Diana Antonious to explain how, when and what women can do to avoid becoming a statistic and confidently build a brighter financial future from today.

What’s your advice for a woman thinking about her financial future, but feeling demotivated by statistics?

The gender gap in retirement savings is the cumulative product of decisions, events and experiences over a woman’s life. Taking time off work, to raise a family or care for elderly parents, can impact a woman’s super balance. Today’s statistics are an opportunity to address the gender gap in retirement savings now, and not wait to become part of the statistic in the future.

Women should take ownership and empower themselves for their financial future through education and action. It’s about taking a proactive approach in preparation for the future, rather than a reactive, delayed response to what we know exists now. Put simply — let’s be proactive rather than reactive!

What can women do today to boost their super?

  1. Tidy up your super. Combining your super funds and finding lost super makes it easier to track your total balance, reduces your paperwork and can mean you pay fewer fees overall.
  2. Top up if you can. Consider topping up your super — even small amounts count towards making time and compound interest work for you.
  3. Check your investment option is right for you. Make sure your money is invested in a way that considers your attitudes towards risk, your timeframe to invest, and your personal circumstances. It can really impact the value in the end.
  4. Make sure you’ve got the right amount of insurance. If you’re over-insured, paying premiums for cover you don’t need can deplete your super balance. If you’re under-insured, you may not have enough to protect your family in the event of an unfortunate event.
  5. Understand your potential entitlements. If you’re eligible for any government offsets and co-contributions then you should take advantage of them.

When should women start creating a financial plan?

As soon as they enter the workforce. Most women will take some time out from work to look after family, so it’s better to have ahead for what is likely to happen, rather than trying to plan after it has happened.

Make sure your money is working hard for you, while you are! Making small changes now and better investment choices sooner, rather than later, can largely impact how much money you have and how it grows. Retirement will be here before you know it and you may not have the choices you had hoped for if you hadn’t planned for it correctly. The more you know, the more planning you do, the safer you will set yourself up to be.

What are your top three tips for women looking to build their confidence in super?

  • Take ownership and start planning for the future. As Benjamin Franklin said “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail”.
  • Empower yourself through online education or use government websites like moneysmart.gov.au that are available free and at no charge. You can also call the Qantas Super help line and they can help you make informed decisions.
  • Ask a professional. It’s okay to ask for help, and a qualified financial adviser can provide guidance on how you can build your confidence around super and retirement.

We're here to help

Need help planning your future? See us at work, attend a seminar or give our friendly helpline a call. Dedicating a little bit of your time to plan for your future can do wonders for your confidence.