Oct 11, 2007

A Man is not a Plan

That is the wisdom of the lovely ladies at WIFE, the Women's Institute for Financial Education. In general women are in a worse financial situation than men - even if they earn more somehow they seem to be (subconsciously) waiting for some prince on a white horse to come and take them away from all this.

I'm aware that that's a huge generalisation, but looking around me I know more single, working, child-free men who own their own home than single women in the same situation. So, whatever the psychology behind it, women tend not to save for their retirement or have any sort of investment portfolio (except where their retirement scheme is made easy by their workplace - it will be interesting to see how NZ's kiwisaver scheme helps this along).

A couple of years ago I realised that I was pretty good at not spending money - I could save it okay - but I had no idea what to do with it after that. The phrase "investment portfolio" made me scared. So I decided to educate myself. I had a hunt on the internet, as you do, and found WIFE. I also found some good books (Your Money or Your Life) and a couple of other columns that I read periodically (particularly Mary Holme in the NZ Herald, also sorted).

The best place to start is just somewhere. I made a decision to read one financial article every week and sooner or later it would start to make sense to me. And it does.

I like to know that the choices we are making with our money are sensible. I like to be able to have a good idea about what our options are and what we might be able to do if things go a bit pear shaped.

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