Marlborough Magazine August 18 - Page 32

Five Financial Goals for women over 40 They’re smart, savvy and earning great salaries – so why are professional women, many in their most important earning decade, not reaching important financial milestones? Karen Essex-Mooney, Lifetime adviser with over 17 years’ experience in mortgage finance , offers some sound advice. ARE YOU FINANCIALLY FIT? Book a chat with Karen today to discuss your financial goals. + First home buyers + Refinancing + Investment properties + Business finance Karen Essex-Mooney MORTGAGE ADVISER T: 03 520 6152 M: 021 731 048 3 Main St, Blenheim A disclosure statement is available on request and free of charge. INVESTING OPINION: Your forties can be the most defining and lucrative decade, especially when it comes to finances. Taking the right steps can improve your financial standing and set you up for the years ahead. However, as a financial adviser, I still see women – often without realising it – running the risk of making themselves financially vulnerable. According to recent research by ANZ Bank, New Zealand women on average live four years longer but retire with $80,000 less than men. This makes it vital for women – even more urgently in their forties – to become single-minded in prioritising their financial health. Here are five important financial goals to strive for: Full control of your finances All too often I’ve seen Kiwi women hand over the financial reins to their male partners. While it may seem easier to put your financial health in someone else’s hands, it could come back to bite you in the long-term. By 40, it’s important to exercise full control over your financial portfolio: make sure you earn more than you spend, and are on-track for retirement. Invest in your financial literacy by reading personal finance books and websites, or take a short course to tackle specific areas you may need help with. Make this the decade to get your financial house in order. Zero high-interest debt Turning 40 can often trigger women in this age group to sign up for liabilities such as expensive new cars, gadgets and wardrobes. However, in this decade it’s in your best interest to be more focussed on growing your assets and investing in your retirement funds. Instead of taking on new debt, work towards creating ‘rolling capital’ – a cash lump sum accumulated from tax rebates, work bonuses, monthly grocery savings, and any extra bits of cash – for you to spend on those little extras throughout the year. You’ll save on interest and have peace of mind knowing you’re spending money you already have. An adequate emergency fund Setting up an emergency fund with three months’ salary is always a good idea – even more so in your forties. It protects you in the event of potential bumps in the road such as losing your current employment, or if you need to reduce your hours due to a health or family concern. If you’re not in the position to save three months’ salary, taking out an income protection plan to safeguard your income is another way to protect yourself and continue to maintain your