10-Step Guide For Women Seeking Financial Independence

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Becoming financially independent is a crucial goal for everyone, regardless of gender. 

However, for women, achieving financial independence comes with its own set of challenges and considerations. 

In Ireland, as in many other countries, women often face specific challenges on the path to financial independence. Whether it’s the gender pay gap, career interruptions due to caregiving responsibilities, or expectations from society, women navigate several obstacles to secure their financial future.

But fear not; financial independence is entirely achievable with the right mindset, strategies, and determination. 

In this blog tailored to women in Ireland, we’ll outline a 10-step approach to help you take control of your finances and pave the way towards economic empowerment.

What is financial independence for women?

Financial independence for women means having the ability to support themselves financially without depending on others. 

It’s more than just earning money; it’s about taking control of finances and the future. 

This independence is crucial, as it offers economic stability and empowers women to make life decisions on their own terms. It involves earning, managing expenses, saving, and investing wisely to ensure a secure financial future. 

Financial independence gives women the freedom to pursue their goals and aspirations without being held back by financial limitations.

Delve into our article on the crucial reasons why personal financial planning is essential.

Step 1: Define Your Financial Goals

Take some time to reflect on what financial independence means to you. 

Do you want to launch a business, buy a house, or live well in retirement? Establishing specific, measurable, and achievable objectives can give you a path to follow and keep you motivated along the way.

Step 2: Educate Yourself

Knowledge is power when it comes to personal finance. Take the initiative to educate yourself about topics such as budgeting, financial planning, saving, investing, protection, retirement planning and pensions

Familiarise yourself with the Irish financial landscape, including tax laws, pension schemes, and investment opportunities.

Step 3: Budget Wisely

Creating and sticking to a budget is fundamental to achieving financial independence. 

Track your income and expenses meticulously to understand where your money is going.

Consider organising your household budget. Take a look at your monthly expenses—are there areas where you could cut back? 

We offer a free personal budget planner that can assist you in effectively managing your finances. 

With this tool, you gain greater control over your financial situation, allowing you to establish monthly budgets, monitor your income, expenses, and investments, and make informed decisions on saving money.

Free Budget Personal Planner - True Wealth

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Step 4: Build an Emergency Fund

Life is unpredictable, and having an emergency fund in place is essential to handling unexpected financial challenges. 

Aim to save at least three to six months’ worth of living expenses in a readily accessible savings account. This emergency fund will provide you with a financial safety net and peace of mind in times of crisis.

Step 5: Invest for the Future

Women might not be taking full advantage of the investment opportunities available or recognising the potential for their assets to increase because they tend to adopt a more cautious approach to handling money.

According to the Irish Independent, just 39% of women express confidence in making investment decisions, in contrast to 52% of men who feel confident. Approximately half of men have a well-defined long-term financial plan, while only about a third of women do.

Investing is a powerful tool for building wealth over the long term. Familiarise yourself with different investment vehicles, such as stocks, bonds, mutual funds, and real estate. 

Consider your risk tolerance, investment horizon, and financial goals when crafting your investment strategy. 

Step 6: Protect Your Financial Health

When discussing female financial health, we’re addressing the general stability and well-being of women’s financial circumstances. 

Even with substantial savings, unforeseen events like severe illnesses can jeopardise your financial security. 

Income protection ensures your income remains safeguarded if you’re unable to work due to illness or injury. It offers an income replacement, guaranteeing you can fulfill your financial responsibilities and sustain your quality of life during difficult times.

Serious illness cover protects against severe health issues such as cancer or stroke, which may result in significant treatment expenses or force you to take time off work.

Another crucial protection is life insurance, which offers benefits beyond only providing support to your loved ones after your passing.

Several benefits of life insurance can be helpful while you’re alive, like the hospital cash benefit. This benefit provides a daily cash allowance for each day spent in the hospital. Its main purpose is to help cover expenses like meals, transportation, and parking fees, which your private health insurance might not cover.

Additionally, health insurance can help you mitigate the risk of facing significant medical expenses that could potentially drain your savings or lead to financial hardship.

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Step 7: Plan for Retirement

As reported in The Irish Times, there’s a significant gap between men and women in understanding how pensions work. 

56% of men claim to understand pensions, while only 37% of women do. Similarly, when it comes to understanding the tax advantages of pension savings, 47% of men feel confident, compared to just 30% of women. 

Additionally, men are more inclined to seek pension guidance from financial advisors, with 27% consulting compared to only 18% of women.

Women need to take proactive steps towards retirement planning, considering that female life expectancy is 84 years, on average, four years longer than that of men, according to the Central Statistics Office (CSO)

This means that women often have longer retirement periods to fund and must ensure they have sufficient savings and investment strategies in place to support their extended retirement years.

Retirement may feel far off in the distance, but it’s never too early to begin preparing for the future. Being well-informed about retirement planning and pensions is crucial to ensuring financial security and peace of mind during your golden years. 

Explore our retirement planning guide for in-depth insights into retirement planning and pensions, addressing all your queries. Discover the best time to start a pension, various types of private pensions, tailored retirement strategies for different ages, determining your retirement age, and much more.

The ultimate Retirement Planning Guide.​

Planning for retirement is a significant life milestone. Whether you’re just starting to think about retirement or are already well into your retirement journey, this guide aims to empower you to make informed decisions and create a retirement plan that aligns with your unique financial goals and expectations.

After you download your guide, one of our expert mortgage advisors will be in touch shortly to provide you with guidance and further relevant information.

 

Step 8: Take Control of Your Income

In the journey towards female financial independence, taking charge of your income is paramount. 

This involves not only negotiating salaries but also exploring alternative income streams like freelancing or entrepreneurship. 

Additionally, considering a job change to secure better pay and benefits can significantly impact your financial well-being. 

By proactively managing your income and seeking opportunities for growth and advancement, you can assert greater control over your financial future and pave the way towards lasting independence and success.

Step 9: Stay Committed and Flexible

Stay committed to your goals, remain disciplined with your financial habits, and stay adaptable in the face of life’s inevitable twists and turns. 

Celebrate your progress along the way, but also be prepared to adjust your plans as circumstances change. With perseverance and resilience, you can conquer any obstacle and achieve the financial freedom you deserve.

Step 10: Seek Expert Guidance

In the journey towards achieving female financial independence, seeking expert guidance is invaluable. 

True Wealth offers comprehensive financial planning services tailored to women’s unique needs and goals. 

From budgeting and saving to investing and retirement planning, our financial advisors can provide personalised strategies to optimise financial health and empower women to make informed decisions about their money. 

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All our content has been written or overseen by a qualified financial advisor. However, you should always seek individual financial advice for your unique circumstances.

The ultimate Retirement Planning Guide.​

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