Australian girls excel at primary school, high school and university, but as women enter the workforce, various systems that were established over the last 100 years begin to work against them.

As a result, full-time working Australian women earn on average $239.80 per week less than men, or more than $12,469.60 a year. Extended over a typical 45 year career, the gap equates to over $561,132.00 – or 7.4 years of a full time work, based on women’s average weekly earnings.

The cross-over point between female advantage and disadvantage typically occurs around the age of 21, when female university graduates earn 1.7 per cent less in their first job in the same role as their male peers, and worsens throughout their lifetime. This is just one of the reasons women are also more likely to retire with less than men.

Around 90% of women will retire with inadequate savings to fund a comfortable retirement. On average, women retire before men and are in retirement longer than men.

There are strategies to improve your retirement outcomes

Build savings early:

making voluntary contributions early in your working life will make a big difference at retirement thanks to compounding interest.

Choose your super wisely:

preferably have only one super fund as having multiple accounts means it is hard to keep track of how much super you have, and you’ll probably be paying more fees than you should.

Get advice:

contact your financial adviser for advice about your super and investments and ask questions and seek clarification if you don’t understand.

Realise that you need to pay to get good advice. Free advice is not necessarily good advice. My mother was a classic example in the days before superannuation. Once a quarter she would meet with her financial adviser. Mum paid him a decent fee and she did well for herself.

These statistics are a stark reality for many Australian women today and as a provider of wealth, insurance and financial advice solutions, the Wealth Farmer is committed to doing what it can to improve the financial lives of all women.

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