financially free

Women opt for less to feel financially free

Why is it that women opt for less to feel financially free? According to a new report that's what women are doing and we want to know why.

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Women are more likely than men to opt for less when it comes to picking that golden number which would make them feel financially free.

When it comes to gender, men say they need $899,000 while women require $759,000 according to the latest NAB Special Insight Report into Financial Freedom.

Both amounts are actually higher than last year with men saying they needed $45,000 more and women $92,000 more.

The report surveys 2000 people and asks them what’s the magic number needed to significantly improve their lives.

Young women were found to want the least amount of money to fix all their financially issues.

Men aged 18 – 29 said they needed $984,000 while women in the same group said they needed $474,000.

Women aged 30-49 years of age said they needed a whole more more than in previous years with $969,000 the amount required to be financially free, which is about the same as men in the that age group.

With multiple responses allowed, most said they would pay off debts (36 per cent), save, or use it to help their families (32 per cent), while others said they would take holidays and travel (28 per cent), use it to invest (20 per cent), or keep it for emergencies (19 per cent).

“Very few Australians, in fact just 1 per cent, would spend it on luxury personal items, while only 4 per cent said they would work less or retire,” said NAB Group Chief Economist, Alan Oster.

“Unsurprisingly, where you live, how much you earn, your gender, and your relationship status impact how much you think you will need,” Mr Oster said.

So why is it that women are opting for a lesser sum than men when it comes to improving their financial lives?

Obviously there are also the issues around gender pay gaps and superannuation savings gap, which already have women at a disadvantage financially, and can restrict spending and borrowings.

Other studies show that women tend to hold less debt than men, such as on credit cards and also tend to be more conservative when it comes to spending money, which means the amount needed to feel financially free is more likely to be less.

Another interesting finding in this report is not so much that women are likely to pick a lesser amount than men, but for younger women that amount is half of what men are saying.

This is interesting given gender pay and superannuation savings gaps are very small, if not non-existent during a woman’s early 20s.

It is likely to be influenced by the fact that younger women are less likely to have children at this stage, which means they feel their financial needs are even less.

The report found Australians living in capital cities need on average $950,000, compared to $615,000 for those living in regional cities.

High income earners (those earning more than $100,000 a year) still believe they need the most, at $978,000, while those in the second highest income category ($75,000 to $100,000) think they need almost $250,000 more than they thought they needed last year ($963,000).

In terms of relationship status, people who were married said they needed $921,000 to improve their lives, which is $166,000 more than last year.

Having children was a major influencer with those Australians who have kids saying they need around $923,000, which is about $185,000 more than last year.

Singles actually said they needed $40,000 less than last year with $833,000 being the financially free number.

Defactos needed significantly more and said that $758,000 would do it, up $229,000 on last year.

Divorced couples now say they need $237,000 less to improve their financial lives and selected $551,000 as the number.

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