The career path of women sees many speed-breakers and hindrances. Firstly, the non-willingness of few employers to hire female employees. Then, even after selection and having a blooming career, they have to take a gap due to various reasons like marriage, relocation, maternity, family, etc. During the career gap, you would not want to be financially dependent on your husband or your parents. Let us have a look at how smart investing and better planning can help working women be economically secure during career gaps.
Find ways to increase your income
As per the Monster Salary Index (MSI), Indian women are paid 20% less salary than Indian men. For instance, if at age 30, you are earning Rs. 64,000, your male colleague at the same level might be drawing a salary of Rs. 80,000. So, either you can try and discuss with your employer for a raise or find alternative ways to increase your income. When switching jobs, negotiate hard with the new company since you know about the salary gap. Remember, more the revenue, more the savings.
Increase your savings
Saving only 10% of your income? Increase it to 15% and then 20%. Even if you and your male colleagues save equal salary each month, who will have a more significant corpus in 10 years? Answer - Your male peer. Reason - Higher pay. Ironically, after retirement, you would need a bigger corpus because the life expectancy of women is higher than men. So, the only way for you is to save more. If you are into binge-shopping, sign up for an ECS at the beginning of the month, and save money before you spend it. Nothing can be more important than saving for a rainy day.
Investment is not just about opening fixed deposits and buying gold. If you were a conservative investor until now, educate yourself about other investment avenues and get going. Your investment portfolio should be balanced with a mixture of equity and debt. In the initial years of your career, invest more in equity instruments like mutual funds, shares, and other securities. Begin investing early in your career. The more time you stay in the market, higher are the chances of good returns, thanks to the compounding effect. As your income rises, increase your investments. If you plan to take a career gap in the next few months, partially move your equity investments to debt. This will reduce the risk exposure to your money during the gap.
Be ready for emergencies
You can never be fully prepared for an emergency. However, having your finances in place is a big deal. Divert a small portion of your savings to health and life insurance. Also, get a personal accident cover if you drive. Keep servicing the premium regularly even during the gap. Think of it as a contingency plan for your self as well as your savings.
Financial independence is crucial, whether married or not. If you want to enjoy every bit of motherhood or focus on family care during your career gap, invest wisely. Give yourself the gift of security and freedom during the career gap with proper financial planning.