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Millennial females to be hit hard by lack of financial fitness

Australian Millennial females are spending up big on their physical health but turning a blind eye to their financial health, putting themselves at serious risk of never achieving true financial independence, according to new research from an industry super fund.

Earlier this week, NGS Super released data comparing female Millennials’ attitudes to financial health versus physical health, which found that while over three-quarters (77 per cent) of Millennial females said financial independence is important to them, less than half are confident about their financial future, and only two in five are actively seeking to improve their financial knowledge.

There is a “stark contrast” in the time, money and effort that this demographic are investing in their physical health versus financial health, it surmised, also highlighting a “significant gap” between female Millennials’ desire for financial independence and understanding of what’s required to achieve it.

Alarmingly, 22 per cent pay little attention to their finances, NGS Super said.

“Despite being dubbed the side-hustle generation and living through the battle to close the gender pay gap, a further 32 per cent believe that managing personal finances for the long term is not a priority for Millennials.”

NGS Super CEO Laura Wright said: “Despite three in five female Millennials believing they are financially healthy, the sobering truth is that without a real investment of time and money early on, many women will be left scrambling to achieve financial independence and a stable nest egg when it’s time to retire.”

Over half (60 per cent) of respondents said they invest in their physical health, compared to only a quarter (25 per cent) who spend money on their financial knowledge.

“When asked to quantify their investment, the median spend by Australian female Millennials on their physical health was $400 over the last 12 months, compared to $0 on financial knowledge,” NGS said in a statement.

However, the research showed that although they’re not currently spending enough time and money on their financial health, the same women did show interest in the opportunity for expanding their financial knowledge.

“The good news is that Millennials want to invest more in their financial fitness. As leaders in Australia’s superannuation industry, we believe there is a desperate need for more tools and advice for Millennials to help them on the path to financial fitness and long-term independence,” Ms Wright said.

“On average, women currently retire with $90,000 less than men. With an average gender pay gap of 14 per cent, the odds are stacked against them, which is why it is absolutely vital that Millennial women start saving early and seriously consider how they can invest in their financial fitness.

“Without a commitment to improving financial fitness now, this generation of Australian women is at risk of never achieving true financial independence and could run out of money in retirement,” she said.