Above: Independent Financial Educator, Nicole Pederson-McKinnon. Image: Nicola Holland
When we’re looking to check out a new restaurant or cafe or invest in a pair of running shoes, who do we turn to?
Often, it’s like-minded friends and family. For many women, it might be our work wives who we spend as much, if not more, time with than our families. And of course, we might also read customer testimonials to help us make sure we’re spending our hard-earned money wisely.
In a recent survey1 of more than 2000 Australians conducted on behalf of QSuper, it was found that Australians rely on word-of-mouth recommendations to help make superannuation decisions, with women (70 percent) more likely to ask friends and family for advice than men (60 percent).
Interestingly, half of the women surveyed said they don’t understand the superannuation products they are invested in. Despite this, women (50 percent) take a more active interest in managing their super than men (36 percent).
With women over 60 at the most risk of poverty in this country, according to a recent Melbourne Institute study, it makes sense that we help each other out to get the super we deserve to live the lifestyles we want in retirement. It’s a conversation we should be having with our work wives – and other women in our lives – now.
“A man is not a plan,” says independent financial educator Nicole Pedersen-McKinnon. “We need to be independent and savvy enough to stand on our own two feet no matter what happens in our lives. The reality is, the average 35-year-old woman is likely looking at a significant shortfall in her super from what it takes to get a comfy retirement.” Scary, right?
An emerging ‘Recommendation Generation’ is not only asking, but acting on the views of friends, family and other important people in their inner circle. A significant 76 percent of millennials have taken super guidance from family and friends, and 59 percent have acted on it.
This makes a lot of sense to Pedersen-McKinnon.
“When we don’t so much buy coffee without a recommendation, why wouldn’t we ask our trusted friends and family for advice with something as important as our retirement plan?” Asking the people who care about you the most for help with a big decision could be “the latest version of friends with benefits”, she adds.
Satisfied members are the ones most likely to recommend their fund to others – according to the QSuper survey – with up to 83 percent of super fund members likely to endorse their fund based on financial performance, positive personal experience, reputation, transparency and product range.
“The extent of the trust flip to friends and family is what’s interesting,” says Pedersen-McKinnon. “Augmenting financial advice with the rubber stamping from family and friends who can give a real-life recommendation is so important.”