Women’s fi­nan­cial se­cu­rity anx­i­ety is well founded

The West Australian - - WHO'S THE BOSS? - Nick Bru­in­ing

Any way you cut it, women fall way be­hind in the race to fi­nan­cial se­cu­rity.

And the Who’s the Boss sur­vey re­veals, boy, don’t they know it.

Women might be 15 per cent more con­fi­dent they’ll be around to cel­e­brate their 80th birth­day but they are one-third less con­fi­dent they will be fi­nan­cially se­cure.

Their anx­i­ety is well backed up by other pow­er­ful re­search. The most re­cent Aus­tralian Bu­reau of Statis­tics fig­ures re­veal that the av­er­age su­per­an­nu­a­tion ac­count bal­ance for fe­males sits at $68,499, more than $43,000 less than the male av­er­age bal­ance.

That’s 40 per cent less. Given that women do live about four years longer, it’s no won­der they’re more wor­ried and worry more of­ten than blokes.

The other telling re­sult is the reliance on their part­ner for fi­nan­cial sup­port. More than three times as many fe­males feel this way as males.

And again, the statis­tics from the courts and streets demon­strate that th­ese vul­ner­a­bil­i­ties are real.

Aus­tralia’s cou­ple dis­so­lu­tion rate, a po­lite way of re­fer­ring to a fam­ily bust-up, is ap­proach­ing 60 per cent.

A bust-up can quickly take a woman from ex­pect­ing a very com­fort­able re­tire­ment to a heavy reliance on the age pen­sion un­less she can lever a big chunk of su­per out of the for­mer hubby.

It should there­fore come as no sur­prise that the study shows that there’s strong sup­port for al­low­ing joint su­per ac­counts in much the same way as a cou­ple can open a joint bank ac­count.

Rather than work­ing through the present maze of rules and reg­u­la­tions in an at­tempt to re­al­lo­cate funds, each part­ner tips in money and they share the spoils equally.

With half the vot­ing pop­u­la­tion feel­ing vul­ner­a­ble and the num­bers giv­ing cre­dence to those feel­ings, it is ex­tra­or­di­nary that politi­cians in Can­berra choose to turn a blind eye.

But then of course, there’s one statis­tic that shouldn’t be for­got­ten. Less than one-third of the 45th Par­lia­ment of Aus­tralia are women.

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