What can we do to bridge the wealth gap?

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What can we do to bridge the wealth gap?

The so-called 'squeezed middle' need help in managing their finances, with caring responsibilities and their own retirement for which to make provision.

When it comes to women of all ages, the financial situation is even more precarious, with the gender pay and gender pension gaps to take into account, on top of needing to fund long-term care for parents and education for children. 

So what can be done to help cater for all generations of women so that the gender pension gap can be closed, and more women of all ages can get started on their savings journey?

FTAdviser In Focus spoke with Emma-Ann Hughes, director of communications for the Chartered Insurance Institute and the Personal Finance Society.

Hughes said while women now are being paid more than in previous generations, and are perhaps far more financially independent than our grandmothers were, today's women are also more likely to be less financially resilient.

It is about what everyone can do to reduce the damage done to female resilience.

This is because of the increased incidence of divorce and separation, more women living on their own and managing rising rents, as well as taking on the bulk of caring responsibilities - whether for older relatives or for children and grandchildren. 

Coupled with an ever-increasing longevity rate and the hit their finances have received during Covid-19, this means women are far more likely to run out of money into retirement, and are expected to have a poorer financial future than men.

She said it was important, therefore, for every member of society - government, industry and employers - to help women become more financially resilience.

Hughes commented: "It is about what everyone can do to reduce the damage done to female resilience. One of the key ones is for the government to consider ways to help women acquire skills and retrain to access financially rewarding careers. 

"Employers should offer greater access to flexible working to help women balance responsibilities and, when it comes to pensions, having conversations that help employers offer greater guidance to employees."

The Fireside Chat also covers what happens to younger women when the previous generations pass on an unexpected inheritance, and how can advisers help younger women improve their financial resilience and knowledge.

To watch the full chat, click on the image above.