Our Aviva Customer service hall is now open to clients on appointment basis. Please call (65) 6220 7890 to make an appointment in advance.
We use cookies on dollardex.com to provide you a tailored user experience and allow us to understand more about you for more personalised engagement. Please refer to our cookie policy for more information on what these cookies are and how we use them. If you continue using our site you consent to our use of cookies. To decline cookies at any time, simply adjust the privacy setting of your browser.
We use cookies on dollardex.com to provide you a tailored user experience and allow us to understand more about you for more personalised engagement. Please refer to our cookie policy for more information on what these cookies are and how we use them. If you continue using our site you consent to our use of cookies. To decline cookies at any time, simply adjust the privacy setting of your browser.
We use cookies on dollardex.com to provide you a tailored user experience and allow us to understand more about you for more personalised engagement. Please refer to our cookie policy for more information on what these cookies are and how we use them. If you continue using our site you consent to our use of cookies. To decline cookies at any time, simply adjust the privacy setting of your browser.

Do women really have it all?

Do women really have it all

It seems that when it comes to living longer, it’s the men who don’t get it. But what does it take to finance this longer life and are women well-prepared?


Women all over the world, including Singapore, face a triple-whammy when it comes to building savings, mainly due to life expectancy and economic reasons. Financially, what this means for women approaching retirement, is that without adequate planning to meet these challenges, they may outlive their savings.

Financial Literacy


Singapore continues to grow in status as a financial hub both regionally and globally. However, in a recent global survey, women here were found to be lagging behind men when it came to financial literacy. This isn’t something we’re just finding out.

Age-old gender stereotypes could be to blame – perceiving men to “bring home the bacon” or be more interested in numbers. One could also argue that women tend to have less access to the investment world as it tends to be dominated by men

Regardless of the reason, this could lead to poorer money management and retirement planning outcomes. This puts women at financial risk as we have a greater need for prudent financial – facing a triple-whammy, that we don’t normally account for, when it comes to managing our money and planning for our golden years.


#1 Longer Life Spans


Women in Singapore are expected to live up to 85.1 years-old while men are only expected to live up to 80.6 years-old. While living longer is a blessing in many ways, it also means that financial security must match our longer lifespans.

On average, women need to stretch their savings by close to five more years than men typically have to, or risk outliving their retirement nest egg.

How can women do this? By saving more, making better investment decisions and even living more frugal lifestyles in preparation for these additional years.


#2 Wage Gap


Around the world, women are reported to earn less than their male counterparts in the same industry, with the same experience and qualifications. In Singapore, it was recently reported in the Straits Times that women could be earning over 20% less than males in their workplace.

While gender inequality is an important issue on its own, women need to consider their actual earnings as well as potential earning ability when planning for retirement. If earnings amount to 20% less, women would have close to 20% less in their CPF accounts meant for retirement use. This means that women need to either spend 20% less in retirement, or try to earn part of this 20% in additional investment returns over the years.


#3 Shorter Planning Periods


According to the Ministry of Manpower (MOM), the labour force participation rate of women between 25 and 64 for 2017 was 59.8%, while it stood at 76.0% for men.

This shows a significantly lower proportion of women of working age were reported to be in the labour force compared to men. Women tend to shoulder a disproportionate burden of domestic responsibilities, citing “family responsibilities” as the main reason for being out of the workforce.

Another way of looking at this is that as a group in Singapore, women collectively spend about 59.8% in formal employment, as compared to 76.0% for men. This means that on average, women end up with a shortfall in savings of close to 16.2% compared to men.


#3 Shorter Planning Periods


According to the Ministry of Manpower (MOM), the labour force participation rate of women between 25 and 64 for 2017 was 59.8%, while it stood at 76.0% for men.

This shows a significantly lower proportion of women of working age were reported to be in the labour force compared to men. Women tend to shoulder a disproportionate burden of domestic responsibilities, citing “family responsibilities” as the main reason for being out of the workforce.

Another way of looking at this is that as a group in Singapore, women collectively spend about 59.8% in formal employment, as compared to 76.0% for men. This means that on average, women end up with a shortfall in savings of close to 16.2% compared to men.


Silver Lining For Female Investors


Several research papers have indicated that when women take the plunge to start investing, they are able to outperform men. Characteristic traits commonly associated with women – being cautious, patient, disciplined and a willingness to ask for advice – actually gives them an edge over male investors.

In the same financial literacy survey, Singaporean women scored 52%, ranking close to or even better than women in other developed economies. Even when compared to overall financial literacy, of both men and women, the difference was not great, with the overall score at 59%.

Female investors in Singapore can be encouraged by these studies and statistics to embark on their investment journey.


Start talking


The future is now – in more ways than one. Savvy women would have started the retirement planning conversation earlier with friends, family members and financial planners as well as to self-educate through online content, books and seminars.

To start your investment and retirement planning journey today, just answer a few questions to determine your risk profile on dollarDEX and you will be presented with an investment portfolio that suits your risk appetite. Alternatively, search for a fund, that you are comfortable with investing, with our fund finder and start a regular savings plan.