Celebrating Women – and combined wealth planning

We celebrate many things this month, not the least of which is Human rights day – and the other, which in a way very much relates to the celebration of human rights, is International Women’s day. Certainly it was a long time before women were afforded their own rights and it is not much over 100 years ago that the first International Women’s day was held.

The movement towards the emancipation and recognition of women was so strong however, that on 8th March 1911 the first day was already supported by over 1 million people! It is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. The day was set up to create a call to action to accelerate equality for Women.

It was of course long overdue as the traditional role of Women as home bodies who were supported by male breadwinners was already under question. Of course after the Second World War, with women having played such a significant independent role in industry as their husbands went to battle, it was clear that women were not the helpless creatures they may have been perceived to be.

Women in the workplace

The reality today is that women are highly respected and very much a part of the workforce. Very few household have just a single breadwinner and so dual income is what keeps bread on the table, the medical aids paid up and the kids in school.

This begs the question “Why then do so many married couples not pursue a line of building financial wealth together?” Even those who are happy to pool resources with regards to the monthly budget, will treat their own disposable incomes as entirely separate entities.

It’s not entirely surprising, as those who are married out of accrual of property – i.e. with an ANC agreement, fear that combined investments can become complicated if things go wrong. This is actually something of a myth, as astute Financial Advisors are capable of assisting couples to grow together financially and still maintain autonomy in the unfortunate event of a breakdown of the marriage.

Why it makes sense

Just a couple of reasons that combined wealth planning makes sense are:

  • Combined income can go further – Just as 2 heads are better than one, so are 2 incomes. Many pension plans and long term investment accounts can benefit greatly by bigger input in earlier years. We all know about compound income and its power!
  • Dread disease and injury don’t have gender distinction – Part of any wealth building is being prepared for the unexpected. Both incomes need to be protected under disability insurance as the loss of one income in a two income home can be devastating.
  • We love our children – Those with children know that financial planning needs to prepare for children’s education and possibly even a little start-up capital for whatever they decide to pursue. Regardless of what happens to a marriage, this is of mutual interest and will greatly benefit from bigger input.

Remember these few words of advice

If you understand what your combined long term goals are: stay focussed on them; commit to working together to achieve them; work out a system of quickly dissolving disputes and allow your Financial Planner to create a strategy for you to achieve this – You really can do it.

You can do no better than to engage a Hereford Group Financial Advisor to help you through it. Because we listen and really understand your objectives we are flexible enough to create a strategy that works for your unique requirements. Contact us today to begin a life of marriage built on a sound financial foundation – and ladies – happy International Women’s Day – We salute you!

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