I don’t mean to be un-Australian but…..

We are just not getting it!

Growing up in a land of golden soil and wealth for toil, the land of opportunity, I’m not sure which is worse the “She’ll be right mate” attitude or the “Tall Poppy” syndrome. Is it time that we reassess the relevance of these, to the Australia we live in today?

“She’ll be right mate”
She most certainly won’t be right! Now I know this statement was not specifically meant for women, but we do seem to be living by it. You may have seen the recent SBS Insight program of “Women on the Edge”, The program has certainly got social media going, those that judge and those that show extreme sympathy.
While the women on the show were asked if they had their time over what would they do differently, there seemed to be a view that there was not much that they would have or could have done differently.

The common thread for most of these women was that they had not planned for the circumstance they ultimately found themselves in. Had they known that those events were likely, divorce, insurance claim for your business, ill heath, work drying up when you get older, would they have planned or done things differently?

Will you see these (brave) women’s stories as a cautionary tale? Or will you hear them as just stories?

Will we all watch the show from the comfort of our own homes (mortgaged or rented), thinking that our future path will pretty much be the same as our life today? Let’s look at what the last census is telling us.
Between the ages of 25-54 years, 70% of women are employed, however, only 11% earn the average weekly wage (or above). The math just doesn’t work (our lives are based on the construct of a time that has no longer exists). What we do during these three core earning decades, needs to see us through for most likely another 30 years, during which at some point we will likely to end up on our own, through being divorced or widowed.

Yet we live life like it is going to continue as it always has, it won’t!

By 55-64 years, only 24% of us work full time, we are likely to have only $80k super and whether we like it or not we are financially dependent, ultimately we cannot even access the pension til we are 67 years old. The longer we live the more likely we will have ill health and we are also likely to need time off to care for someone we love at some stage of our lives, even if we don’t have our own children. Unless your version of ‘She’ll be right mate” means living on around $23k (or less before pension age), you need to spend some time becoming financially literate and planning.


“Tall Poppy Syndrome”
In Australia we love the ‘Aussie Battler’, the ‘Underdog” struggling in the face of hardship, struggling to make ends meet, but making it through. Sometimes these underdogs, end up doing very well, then they fall foul of our culture and become the ‘tall poppys’ we love to pull down.
I have seen comments about Doris Perkins, owner of a once successful business and she had two properties, people saying ‘she couldn’t afford them’ she got too greedy. I’m sure there are things that could have been done differently. The reality is there are always things you can do differently and yes sometimes you do need to cut your losses (especially against insurance companies, that have deep pockets and hate to lose). Along with learning about wealth creation, you need to have wealth protection strategies.
Doris was working hard and striving for something better, she had a successful business, innovative and diversified. Doris now thinks that she is not a good example for her kids and grandkids and she most certainly never thought she would end up where she is today. Yes, we can learn from Doris (will we though, or will we just sit back, judge and not take the risk ourselves to be successful).
I applaud all the women that were brave enough to go on “Women on the Edge”, knowing full well that we will all sit back and judge the choices and decisions you have made. Hindsight is a wonderful thing, but statistically, more and more women are headed exactly where these women have found themselves today. There will come a point in time when we can no longer afford the roof over our head on our own, we will be (if we are not already), financially dependent on our relationship or we are single and when work stops (and it will!), we will struggle to pay for our home and everything that goes with it.

It’s time to be un-Australian! She won’t be right mate!! We all need to take control of our own financial destiny, no matter where we are in life or where we think we are going!


Kerry Ashbrook is on a mission to get all women to take control of their financial destiny. Come and join our last FREE event for 2017.join-the-financial-movementfree-event-2

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