Women’s Finances Are Taking a Hit

The pressures of the pandemic inside and outside the workforce have a significant impact on women and their financial future. According to a recent survey by UBS Global Wealth Management, 61% of women believe that Covid-19 has damaged their careers.

Main results:

• 40% of women reduced their working hours to help children who did not go to school.

• 25% had to postpone retirement, although 88% said it was a priority for them.

• 4 out of 10 reported suspension of salary increases and promotions.

• 26% plan to leave the workforce entirely.

Financial challenges during the Covid pandemic

In response to financial uncertainty during the pandemic, there was a 12% increase in the percentage of women who reviewed their finances, up to 45%. The increase points to a positive narrative for women’s control over finances, but it also points to a gap between their job expectations and their current reality.

How women can close the retirement savings gap]

Women not only shorten their working hours and delay career development. 70% say they work in the kitchen, while 67%, in addition to everyday life, have to do with daycare and distance education.

A report by the Lerner Center for the Advancement of Public Health found that 80% of women are currently unemployed due to their health needs. Again, this presents challenges for family care, as well as child care costs associated with distance work and school. We spoke with Kelly Wittich, CFP®, the Financial Services team at UBS Financial Services FTB, about the steps that women can take to protect their financial stability. Here’s what he had to say.

What advice would you give to women who are having problems with their finances?

The first thing I would say to women in need now is to take a moment, take a breath and realize that you are not alone. The pandemic has affected many people, especially women, who have had to assume more roles and responsibilities in their daily lives. For many women, it is a setback, but it is not permanent.

I suggest that you focus on the areas over which you have control. Take this time to determine where you want to be when our lives become normal. Think about the past year: ask yourself what you liked. Was it more time for the family, time alone, and working from home? What do you not like? Taking time to think can help you focus on what’s important and then take action.

A guide for women to negotiate salary increases

Do you want to get more out of your career? Talk to your boss and colleagues. Is there a better role in the company? Are you looking for a new job or a career change? Do you need to register now for online courses that can help you with this? Did you work more efficiently at home? Talk to your company so that you adopt a more flexible work schedule.

What steps can women take to stay on track after retirement?

To quote Mark Twain, “The secret to moving forward is to get started”. Review your plan and find out where you want to go. Are you still on track to achieve your goals?

If you don’t have a plan, look for a partner, such as a trusted relative, friend, or financial advisor, and make a plan. Once you understand your plan, you can focus on specific action steps, such as saving more, spending less, changing your retirement age, or refinancing.

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