Women, wise up! - Financial planning for single expat women in Hong Kong
Written by Lynda Calver on June 08, 2015.
Financial planning for single expat women in Hong Kong
Like most Brits who end up in the Asia, I came to here to escape the miserable, cold winters of the UK, the gloomy outlook of many Brits and the mundane life I had settled into, as well as to embark on a new challenge. I felt back then that Asia was the future, an opinion only cemented by my experiences over the six years I have been here. The rewards of living in vibrant Hong Kong are numerous: the warmer climate, the unique entwining of Western and Asian culture, enhanced social life, lower taxes and disposable income to name a few.
For the last five years I have worked as a senior consultant for Infinity Financial Solutions and in that time I have come across many people with huge misconceptions about the role I perform as a financial consultant. Put very simply, I help people to plan for their future. I work with clients from a whole range of backgrounds however as a single woman I am particularly well placed to help the increasing numbers of single, professional working expat women moving to Hong Kong who are in a similar situation to me.
Single women with no dependents often think that their financial planning requirements are minimal, but I would argue that their needs are in fact even greater than those of married women. And as expatriates there are additional issues they should consider.
Women face many challenges with regard to their finances. We earn 25% less than men and only 13% of us have pensions! Even those women who have had the foresight to start saving for their retirement are likely to have a shortfall. On average women have half the amount in their pension pots than men, despite the fact that we tend to live longer than men. I believe that all women should make it a priority to save for retirement to secure a comfortable standard of living when they stop working.
Investing for retirement isn’t the only financial issue to consider either. Women who don’t have the safety net of a husband or partner need to think about what they would do if they lost their job or became too ill to work. Do you have emergency funds to see you through a crisis?
And what about medical cover? I come across many expats here in Hong Kong who are gambling on the fact that they will stay healthy - a hopelessly flawed strategy. If you have the misfortune to need medical treatment in this city, you should be aware that medical bills can be astronomical.
All of these problems can be tackled with a comprehensive financial plan, and that’s where I come in. Over the coming months I look forward to highlighting and expanding on some of the financial issues that affect us as expatriate women in Hong Kong
If you want some support in getting your financial affairs in order, I would be more than happy for you to contact me.