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Women are playing a greater part in making the wheels of economy turn better and faster.

We have never before in or history seen as high a percentage of professional women starting their own professional practices or becoming instrumental in management and decision-making at an executive level.

The emancipation of women! Or, is it?

In spite of the trends highlighted above, the financial independence of women later in life still tells a very sad story.

Women; as the mothers of the nation, bears the next generation and raises them. This often results in multiple interruptions in earnings, promotional prospects, wealth accumulations career prospects that male counterparts do not have to face.

These setbacks only crystalizes later in life when retirement appears on far horizons as an inevitable occurrence. This is also when fear and the realization of dependence on the husbands retirement accumulation for a comfortable old age hits home.

This, unfortunately, often happens in the age bracket where the empty nest syndrome appears and marriages become rocky. Divorce agreements often split assets in half and with roughly ten years left to accumulate sufficient wealth for any type of retirement, time becomes the number one enemy.

The new generation women have more freedom in decision making processes about careers, finance, the building and management of own assets and many aspects of daily life than is the case with their mothers.

Unfortunately, this independent thinking does not apply to an independent retirement as the provisions made by women in general fall far short of a sustainable pension at retirement age.

All taxpayers enjoy the same tax breaks on contributions made to approved retirement funding products. Not only will independent contributions to retirement products result in tax benefits, it would result in greater freedom in financial decision-making at retirement. More importantly, when life’s odds stack up against women they would at least be able to retire independently from a spouse or ex-spouse.

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Sanlam Life Insurance is a licensed financial service provider.
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