Online survey finds long term goals not on top of list of priorities
AWARE and ipac to help women better plan for their financial needs
Singapore, 17 September 2009 – Three out of four women in Singapore feel they do not know enough about financial products and services to make good investment decisions.
This was one of the key findings of an online survey conducted in July-August by AWARE and financial advisory services group ipac financial planning Singapore. Some 400 women took part in the survey.
Generally, the women appeared to be in good financial health:
• 80% reported that they had no money difficulties in the past year
• 87% paid their credit card bills in full each month
• 79% had their own life and health insurance policies
However, only about 10 per cent said they were looking at planning for their retirement.
Of the women who are married or in long term relationships, more than two-thirds said the household financial decisions were decided jointly. One third was not familiar with the location and content of their partner’s insurance policies and bank accounts, and two thirds had no idea about their partner’s will.
The survey was conducted by AWARE, Singapore’s leading women’s rights group, and ipac financial planning Singapore in preparation for a couple of initiatives aimed at empowering women through enhanced financial awareness and literacy.
Firstly, the two organisations will work together to present financial empowerment seminars for all women who wish to improve their current financial situation and plan for their future.
Corinna Lim, a member of AWARE’s Executive Committee and head of the AWARE Training Institute, said: “Women are more vulnerable to financial risks as both single and married women tend to be the main caregivers of their families. Many married women take the ‘mommy track’ which affects their earning capacity, retirement funds (CPF) and savings. Yet, they generally outlive their spouses by 10 years or more and have poorer health in old age. Our Helpline receives many calls indicating that women seldom plan for contingencies like the sudden death of their spouse or divorce. When these things happen, they may not even know where to begin to assess what assets the family has and what they can do.”
Gary Harvey, CEO ipac wealth management Asia, said, “The survey showed that while the respondents generally had fairly good control of their finances, the number of those that planned for critical long term objectives was unfortunately low. We see this collaboration with AWARE as a platform to empower more women so that they will have the capacity and opportunity to enhance their current smart money management steps to achieve bigger personal goals, like being their own boss or saving for their children’s education.”
Financial clinics to be piloted for women from lower income households
Secondly, AWARE and ipac will also pilot financial clinics for women from lower income households. Targeted at helping women with a household income of less than $3,000 per month, the clinics will aim to help them gain a better understanding of their finances and how to achieve their own personal goals or aspirations in spite of being in the lower income bracket.
Corinna Lim said, “We are piloting financial clinics because we see an opportunity to help underprivileged women in financial distress that approach AWARE’s direct services. The clinics’ goal is to assess their financial needs, help them optimise their resources and manage their expenses while planning for the future. This will be an excellent supplement to our counselling services and legal clinics, and we are excited about offering this as an integral part of our services in future.”
AWARE, or the Association of Women for Action and Research, is Singapore’s leading women’s rights advocacy group. Since our formation in 1985, we have carried out research into gender inequality and other issues relevant to women, and advocated for changes in laws, policies and mindsets that discriminate against women.
Along with our research and advocacy work, we provide a range of direct services for women, such as a crisis help line, counselling, and a free legal clinic.
An important aspect of AWARE’s work is public education – talks, seminars, workshops and other training programmes which are carried out by the AWARE Training Institute.
AWARE is a not-for-profit organisation. We are funded by donations, grants, and member subscriptions. We are a registered charity, so all donations to AWARE are tax-deductible.
about ipac financial planning Singapore
ipac financial planning Singapore is an international financial advice and investment group that has been helping clients achieve their financial and lifestyle goals since its formation in Australia in 1983. It manages more than US$8.2 billion (as at December 2008) for individuals and institutions worldwide. Its financial planning process is practiced in Hong Kong, Singapore, Taiwan, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa.
ipac is a member of the Global AXA Group, a worldwide leader in financial protection and wealth management with assets under management of about €981 billion (as at December 2008).
In February 2008, the AXA Group ranked 20th in the FORBES GLOBAL 100 Survey of ‘The World’s Largest Corporations’.
For more information, contact:
Public Education Manager
tel: +65 6779 7137
ipac financial planning Singapore
Media Relations Specialist, ipac financial planning Singapore
tel: +65 6511 7334
Head, Media Relations, ipac Asia
tel: +65 6511 7335
Information about financial clinics and public seminars
These pilot clinics will be held at the AWARE Centre in Dover Crescent on 9th October 2009, 4th December 2009 and 29th January 2010. As the clinics are meant to help women who are underprivileged or in need, AWARE will ensure the eligibility of candidates prior to the clinics. Those who want to register for these clinics may contact Ms Mardiana Abunaim at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 6779 7137.
AWARE-ipac empowerment seminars:
21st October 2009 A man is not a financial plan
25th November 2009 Money, me and you
21st January 2010 Grow your wealth
The seminars are open to the public. Those who would like further information can contact Priyanka of AWARE at email@example.com or call 6779 7137.