• Christine Lusher

3 money mistakes to avoid in your 50s – together we can #BreakTheBias


At Serendipity Wealth Advisors we are passionate about bridging the gender equality gap. Change has been slow to progress, especially when we compare it to the speed with which society has adapted to technological advances.


One of the key reasons for this is because younger generations often model the behaviour of older generations. Take for example, your own money story. Chances are that most (if not everything) that you feel, know and do with money came from your parents or grandparents. While they may not have openly discussed money, you still absorbed their emotions and habits through observation.


Our upbringing and social conditioning is why women often feel ‘mummy guilt’ about going to work and putting kids in day care, while men don’t tend to suffer from those same emotions.


This means that in order for us to effect true change and speed up progress, we need to do more than just talk about the need for change. Every single one of us needs to start walking the talk and being a role model for future generations.


You can start today by making sure that you are one of the women that #BreakTheBias by changing the statistics[1] that say:


Women have 23.4% less super than men when they reach retirement age

  • 55.2% of people receiving the age pension are women

  • Women live on average 4 years longer than men, and with lower super balances are likely to run out of money much sooner

  • 1 in 3 single Australian women over 60 live in income poverty

With that in mind, let’s take a look at common mistakes women in their 50s make and what you can do to put yourself in a stronger financial position.


Mistake #1 – Letting your anxiety about the future get in the way of planning for it


Most of us suffer from financial stress or anxiety at least to some degree. However, when it comes to big questions like “when can I retire?” and “will I have enough money?”, our worry can get so overwhelming it can trigger our fight, flight or freeze response. More often than not, it results in us finding an easy distraction (hey – I have to get dinner started!), and postponing the topic to another day. This can be financially sabotaging behaviour, as the sooner you begin to plan for your retirement the more likely you are to succeed in creating the lifestyle you desire.


Working with a financial advisor can relieve your financial anxiety by letting us take care of the numbers for you. We will do all the hard work and number crunching and present you with solutions instead of problems.


Mistake #2 – Being too busy taking care of everyone else’s needs


Despite the fact that women now make up 47% of the workforce, we still do the bulk of the unpaid work as well. Whether it is looking after our elderly parents and in-laws or helping with the grandkids, the tug of war between our jobs, our families and our own well being continues, even as we get older. In addition to demands for our time, there are often also financial pressures such as going guarantor to help our kids get in the property market, paying for school fees, or covering medical bills.


The question then becomes, while you are busy taking care of everyone else, who is looking after you? If you find yourself pulled in a dozen different directions, a financial planner can take some of that workload off your plate. While you are busy looking after your loved ones, we will be busy looking after you.


Mistake #3 – Leaving money on the table


Many women often aren’t aware of how much money they are leaving on the table by not taking advantage of taxation, pension and super rules. Simple things like managing your fees and investments inside super more effectively, and growing your wealth tax efficiently, can mean that your retirement fund is growing without placing significant strain on your current finances.


Tax and super rules can be complex and overwhelming, but they don’t mean that you have to become an expert overnight. As your financial advisors our job is to lead the way and break down complex matters into simple terms – we know you have better things to do with your time than read tax law!


Hearing repeated statistics about the disadvantages women face in retirement can make it easy for fear to hide behind our busy schedules without us even realising it. It is natural to have fear and anxiety about your future, but worry alone won’t change the outcome. The best antidote to fear is action – so why not book a complimentary initial consult and find out how we can help you create the future of your dreams! We are available for in-person meetings in Sydney or Newcastle and via video conference Australia wide.


What you need to know


This information is provided and produced by Serendipity Wealth Advisors. The advice provided is general advice only as, in preparing it we did not take into account your investment objectives, financial situation or particular needs. Before making an investment decision on the basis of this advice, you should consider how appropriate the advice is to your particular investment needs, and objectives. You should also consider the relevant Product Disclosure Statement before making any decision relating to a financial product.

[1] Source: Women in Super – Facts about women and super