With women outliving their male spouse by an average of 5 years, it is important for them to be more involved in the long-term planning of their family’s life. And what’s more long-term than the homes they live in.
It is becoming clearer that women should be more involved in the financial planning of real estate. In fact, most women are already involved in all the other aspects of property buying, mainly choosing which schools to send the children to, the aesthetic look of the house and neighbourhood, and even surveying the neighbours they’ll be living with.
But when polled, a recent UBS Global Wealth Management study showed that only 23% of women take charge of such long-term financial planning decisions and 58% of them defer to the men in their lives to make such decisions. Only a small handful make decisions equally.
In the same study, the families who do make decisions together report that the women involved have higher confidence in their financial future, make fewer mistakes, and are less stressed about their finances. All important factors that determine a healthy family relationship dynamic.
Another great reason why women should be involved in dollars and cents of planning, is that they tend to be better investors. Women spend more time researching and tend to take on appropriate amount of risk when investing – both good measures of successful investing. And when a family’s residential property makes up 60+% of the family’s net worth, more time deciding and being prudent in determining risk should be the way forward.
So how should women take charge of their family’s property decisions?
If you’re a woman reading this, get involved, and if you’re a man, get your wife involved. It’s that simple. Like many areas in our lives, the only way we’ll learn is to get our feet wet and try. Here’s 3 quick steps.
1. Demystify the jargons of the property industry. ABSD. LTV. TDSR. And whatever string of 3 or 4 letter abbreviations meant to “gatekeep” the inexperienced and green to property investing. Break them down.
2. Understand the family’s resources. Yes, both the assets and the liabilities of the family. Figure out the monthly cash flow, cash and CPF balances, the existing debt and repayments, and any future expenses that are still to come. Get a financial advisor involved if things are a little too complicated.
3. Plan what’s next for the family. Will there be any additions to the family? How about caring for ageing parents? How long are you planning to live in the current or the next house?
These are simple ways to get started, but if they look daunting, don’t be afraid to ask for help. We have ample resources and guides on our blog to help you get started. Subscribe to our newsletter on this page and join 200,000 fellow homies receiving content that may not even be featured in our blog.
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So, ladies, the future of your family’s finances can and should be in your hands. You have a lot to gain, especially a better and more successful property journey.