Research by fintech company Map My Plan has found that Australian women are far more financially unstable than men – further evidence of an existing gender gap.
According to the company's research into the "financial fitness" of working Australians – their ability to meet financial commitments and withstand financial shock – 32 per cent of women were found to be financially unfit in contrast with only one quarter of men.
Meanwhile, women save an average $862 monthly, almost 20 per cent less than the average $1,061 men save each month, the research shows.
"Nearly 40 per cent of women say they can't afford to do the things they want to do, compared with only 30 per cent of men," said Map My Plan founder and chief executive Paul Feeney.
"And two thirds say they could not afford to leave their job, compared to only half of men."
Mr Feeney added that low levels of financial fitness were associated with reduced work productivity as well as having detrimental health effects.
"Thirty-six per cent of women cite their personal financial situation as a major cause of stress versus 31 per cent of men. And women spend almost 40 per cent more time thinking about financial issues during working hours than men," he said.
"So the real question now is how best to address the gap and improve outcomes for women who are already behind the eight ball.
"The good news is that the best predictor of financial fitness was having a financial plan," he said. "The research showed that those with a financial plan were more likely to be in control of their finances, worry less and be more productive at work."
However, only 16 per cent of all working Australians have a financial plan, the research showed.
The most common reasons for not seeking a financial planner were costs and the perception that advisers are biased toward particular products, the statement said.
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