4 simple ways to become more financially empowered this International Women’s Day

international women's day

International Women’s Day is celebrated each year on 8 March. It is a day designed to recognise the achievements of incredible women around the world, alongside campaigning for further progress in women’s rights.

One crucial component in the furthering of women’s freedoms and rights in the UK, and around the world, is money.

Little more than 100 years ago, up until 1922, a woman had to waive her rights to any inherited property when she got married. Plus, it was only in 1990 that married women in Britain began being taxed independently of their husbands. And it took until 2018 for companies of 250 employees or more to become obliged to report salaries and gender pay gaps.

For women in all circumstances, greater financial empowerment could enable you to:

  • Save and invest with confidence, independently of your spouse
  • Make life choices based on your own goals
  • Create future opportunities for yourself and your children
  • Live with greater peace of mind and an improved sense of security.

So, without further ado, here are four ways for women to become more financially empowered this International Women’s Day.

1. Identify your most important life goals

Sadly, it can often be the case that women sideline treasured life goals in order to make room for others’ needs. These goals could be:

  • Start a family at the time you choose
  • Climb the career ladder
  • Become a homeowner
  • Grow a business
  • Travel the world.

But what many people do not know is that the first step to financial empowerment is identifying your most important life goals, and keeping them at the front of your mind.

For women, this step might help you to create a solid financial plan that holds your aspirations in high esteem, further empowering you to go after them – something the next four steps could help with.

2. Start investing, even if you’re nervous about it

Although it may seem unbelievable now, 1973 was the year in which six women were first allowed to trade in the London Stock Exchange, although the institution had already been running for 200 years.

51 years later, the world of investing has changed significantly; now, anyone can invest using a smartphone or laptop in just a few minutes.

Yet unfortunately, some studies have shown that women are more risk-averse than men when it comes to money. If you can identify with this level of caution, you may be wondering: “Why is it important for women to invest, and how can we get started?”

Investing is a cornerstone of most financial plans because:

  • While it does carry some risk, investing over a minimum of five years could help you to grow the wealth you have, rather than leaving it all in a cash account that may only produce meagre returns.
  • Over the long term, investing in a diverse portfolio of assets could increase your wealth in line with, or above, the rate of inflation. Cash, on the other hand, is usually eroded by inflation over time.

While cash is an important component of your wealth too, starting to invest with the help of a professional could enable you to achieve your long-term goals more easily.

3. Pay close attention to your pension

According to the NOW: Pensions gender pensions gap report for 2024, women typically retire with £69,000 in their pensions, compared to their male peers who have an average of £205,000 when they finish work.

The report goes on to say that as it stands, a woman would have to work for 19 more years to retire with the same pension wealth as a man.

Fortunately, while the gender pensions gap is a sad reality for women to face, there are steps you can take to boost your pension and reduce the inequality you and your peers may experience.

You could:

  • Prioritise your pension contributions. It is easy to simply cut your pension contributions when times are tight – but doing so could lead to a serious shortfall in your retirement fund later. So, maintaining consistent contributions throughout your working life could be very beneficial. If you take a career break, your spouse may be able to make pension contributions on your behalf, so it could be worth discussing this with the help of a financial planner.
  • Discuss pension sharing if you go through a divorce. Couples often sideline their pensions in a divorce, but for women, losing substantial pension wealth during a separation could damage your retirement stability.

Beating pension inequality won’t be easy, but in the meantime, forming a robust retirement plan could help you feel confident about your future.

4. Remember that you are not alone

Becoming financially empowered may be a long journey, especially if you have always struggled to maintain, understand, or control your finances in the way that you’d like.

Yet despite the financial inequalities that many women experience, it is crucial to remember that you are not alone.

Working with a Kellands financial planner could help you to:

  • Have a trusted point of contact who has you and your family’s best interests at heart
  • Gain knowledge that could allow you to make more informed decisions
  • Look at your specific goals and form a financial plan around them
  • Improve your financial confidence over time.

We’re here to work with women who wish to become more financially empowered. Email hale@kelland.co.uk, or call 0161 929 8838.

Please note

This article is for general information only and does not constitute advice. The information is aimed at retail clients only.

A pension is a long-term investment not normally accessible until 55 (57 from April 2028). The fund value may fluctuate and can go down, which would have an impact on the level of pension benefits available. Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future performance.

The tax implications of pension withdrawals will be based on your individual circumstances. Thresholds, percentage rates, and tax legislation may change in subsequent Finance Acts. Workplace pensions are regulated by The Pension Regulator.

Your pension income could also be affected by the interest rates at the time you take your benefits. The tax implications of pension withdrawals will be based on your individual circumstances, tax legislation, and regulation, which are subject to change in the future.

The value of your investments (and any income from them) can go down as well as up and you may not get back the full amount you invested. Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future performance.

Investments should be considered over the longer term and should fit in with your overall attitude to risk and financial circumstances.


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