One of the cornerstones of women-empowerment is being economically independent. Such independence emanates from an acute understanding of some financial issues that may affect us at one point or another. Here are some financial questions women should be able to answer.

How much should I set aside for retirement?

Retirement can be such a distant idea, but here’s the thing – it is never too early to begin. Given some issues with economic disparity with men, we have to put in extra effort to ensure that we won’t need a man to sustain us financially when things wind down. Putting up a retirement fund is essentially a declaration of independence. This means being accountable for YOU when you hit retirement age. A usual computation for a personal retirement fund is setting aside a value equivalent to one month’s salary every year. If we start now, imagine how much we will be able to raise ten, twenty years down the road.

What can I do to boost my income without sacrificing quality time for myself and my loved ones?

There are many ideas that we can explore that will not demand too much time. One idea is passive income. It’s a venture that we do not have to be so hands-on with to work. The most common example is renting out real estate (or even AirBnB your current space). We can hire a property management firm to take care of everything from finding a client to do rental collection and maintenance. All we have to do is to receive what is due to us at the end of a stipulated period.

How do I invest?

Statistics seem to show that not a lot of women are keen on investing. It’s high time to change that. Investing is yet another way to boost our income while preparing for the future. How should we invest? For first-timers, you can attend a local investment discussion group. Members will help one another understand investment products, their risks, potential yield, and other key benefits to make wise investments. You could also opt to hire a financial advisor to aid in your financial decisions. Alternatively, you can also enrol in a special course on investing.

Am I prepared for an emergency?

The future is replete with uncertainty. A crisis can hit at any time -whether it be divorce, a natural catastrophe, or the death of a loved one. That’s why women must be prepared for such situations. This will goad us to look into what insurance products to invest in. An emergency fund is also very crucial. It’s the first threshold we break when an emergency (like car breakdowns or illness) happens. This usually translates to setting aside, at the very least, three months’ worth of living expenses.

Should I marry, is it advisable to keep everything separate?

Under marriage, we gain a partner in life so we might have to yield some control – the operative word being some. It’s still wise to have our own credit card, a bank account that’s solely ours, at least one utility bill in our name, and a separate retirement fund. For everything else, we can share with our spouse.

Am I financially capable to support elderly loved ones?

While we are not obligated to do so, it’s a matter of responsibility that we ensure our elderly loved ones are in good hands. The best way to do this is to plan out early so we can include potential expenses in our monthly financial plan. Preparation is key to save precious bucks when the inevitable arrives.

How do I achieve economic independence?

Economic independence does not happen overnight. This will require careful planning, forethought, sacrifice, and hard work. One has to take into consideration a multitude of things: expenses, savings, investment, ideal salary, and so on. Starting as early as possible increases the likelihood that we will achieve economic independence sooner than later.

Ladies, don’t believe the naysayers who say financial matters are not our strongest suit. We don’t have to be experts to fix this particular aspect of our lives. By starting with these key financial questions, we are given a great place to begin our journey towards economic independence.


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