Author Topic: Women only 92 days from financial ruin, men have a 120 day buffer  (Read 3072 times)

HappierAtHome

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Read this little gem today: http://www.news.com.au/finance/money/financial-planning-women-are-92-days-away-from-ruin/story-e6frfmcr-1227128502392

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THE average woman in Australia is only 92 days away from financial ruin.

Essentially, it means that if you lose your job tomorrow, you’ll only be able to support yourself for 92 days before your savings become completely drained.

For men, that period is an ever-so-slightly more comforting buffer of 120 days. Overall, Australians are, on average, 109 days away from being destitute.

The new research is found within the RaboDirect Financial Health Barometer, which surveyed more than 2000 Australians on how long their piggy banks will be able to sustain them.

But the 23 per cent gap between the average man and woman’s savings is not because of some outdated notion that women have blown their money on shoes or handbags. Rather, it roughly correlates with the 18.6 per cent gender gap in salaries.

“It’s not really surprising,” RaboDirect group executive Greg McAweeney told news.com.au. “It’s concerning for a number of reasons. Women are often the primary care givers and step out of the workforce. So they get hammered in their savings and superannuation.”

Mr McAweeney said sometimes women aren’t concerned about it because the income of the male partner makes up for it but if there’s a break-up or divorce, a woman’s whole financial health is damaged.

Perhaps even more worrying than they gender gap in savings is the fact the survey found 20 per cent of Australians declared no savings at all. If they lost their job tomorrow, they would be at the financial mercy of their family and friends, if they’re lucky enough.

RaboDirect has being conducting the Financial Health Barometer for several years. Mr McAweeney said: “What you saw post-GFC is people started to save more. Before the GFC, they were debt hungry but the GFC taught people a lesson.”

But now that we’re a few years out of the GFC, it’s possible people have become complacent again.

Mr McAweeney said Australians should aim for a savings buffer of five or six months because that’s how long it could take to find another position. And in the meantime, mortgage or rent, bills, school fees and the rest roll on.

He said people should get into the routine of disciplined saving. He said: “A lot of people who aren’t saving can do it quite easily — it becomes a habit. We don’t expect you to be a slave to saving but look back over what you spend on in three months and it gives people a hell of a shock.

“The best way is to pay yourself. Do that at the start, when your salary comes in. Have a direct debit that goes into your savings account on the day you’re paid. And if you have money left over at the end of the month, sweep that into your savings too.”

Mr McAweeney also said that many people have their savings in the wrong account. While historically low interest rates mean that there aren’t any real “high interest” accounts out there, many accounts will still pay out up to 4 per cent interest, rather than the almost nothing your everyday banking account gives you.

The other piece of advice Mr McAweeney has given is to seek out independent financial advice from an adviser that doesn’t work for a bank.

He said that for many people, not having a savings buffer is a matter of lack of financial literacy. The survey found, perhaps surprisingly, that Gen Y are actually the most financially literate.

The average person only has 90 to 120 days of savings to sustain them if they lose their job... that's just... insane. And imagine how low that figure would be if there weren't mustachians bumping it up by having several years of funds in liquid accounts.

How can anybody expect to survive a job loss or similar disaster with less than three months worth of accessible money?

EricL

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Re: Women only 92 days from financial ruin, men have a 120 day buffer
« Reply #1 on: November 19, 2014, 07:48:19 PM »
It's not that hard really. I remember going through most of my life without any emergency savings.  It's not like I was a TOTAL idiot.  But beginning at the very bottom of the workforce wages doesn't exactly encourage wise saving habits.  Fortunately, this eventually changed after couple good face punches. But I can see how a lot of people could continually stay stuck on stupid without a little education.

Dan_at_Home

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Re: Women only 92 days from financial ruin, men have a 120 day buffer
« Reply #2 on: November 19, 2014, 09:57:00 PM »
There was a point in my life when I little to no savings to fall back on.  At some point in my mid 20s is when I started thinking of how dangerous a situation like this is.  At that point I started to read and study personal finance, started savings and investments.  Eventually the road lead me here to this site to become a mustachian. 

The fear of becoming destitute and homeless due to lack of savings can be used as a positive force to encourage yourself to build up your stash and eventually reach FI.

odput

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Re: Women only 92 days from financial ruin, men have a 120 day buffer
« Reply #3 on: November 20, 2014, 06:39:02 AM »
Read this little gem today: http://www.news.com.au/finance/money/financial-planning-women-are-92-days-away-from-ruin/story-e6frfmcr-1227128502392

Quote
Mr McAweeney also said that many people have their savings in the wrong account. While historically low interest rates mean that there aren’t any real “high interest” accounts out there, many accounts will still pay out up to 4 per cent interest, rather than the almost nothing your everyday banking account gives you.


Anybody else think its funny that the guy they quote has "A weenie" in his name?  Huh?  Bueller?

Seriously though, this is another sad but not surprising report.  Everyone in the US and apparently Australia too now know that we suck at saving, so we say "well we suck at it" nothing we can do.

Facepalm

Anatidae V

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Re: Women only 92 days from financial ruin, men have a 120 day buffer
« Reply #4 on: November 20, 2014, 07:07:44 AM »
My takeaway:

Aww, puppy!
Why is the last staring at me over her piggy bank with a creepy smile?
Hmm, WE don't have that much in our emergency fund!
Oh wait, but we do have 5 months cash available, we'd just reallocate in an emergency.

And finally: yes, if people squirreled away their money first, there would be less problems later. Maybe we should start turning people into squirrels.