Tomorrow's mums

Mother's Day celebrates motherhood. It's a time for mothers young and old, working mums and mums to be, single mums, grandmothers, honorary mums, new mothers, stay-at-home mums and families.

Raising children can be a joy and a privilege. And like anything worthwhile, it comes with costs on many fronts - from sleep deprivation in the early years to a work-life balancing act later on.

And it's not just an issue for mums - but dads too - that the financial cost of raising two kids has gone up 50% since 2007. In 2012 raising two children cost $812,000 up from $537,000 in 2007. What's more, the average household income has only increased by 25%1.

Most parents would agree that a lot goes into raising children. But mums give to their families in ways that impact not only their careers but their future lives for many years afterwards.

Because even though stay-at-home dads are more common these days - in fact one in four households has a female breadwinner2 - many women spend long periods out of the workforce.

Future proofing your choices

It's a fact that most of us find it difficult to consider the future very far ahead3 . But time out of work can have a big financial impact.

If you're a mum, Mother's Day is time to acknowledge everything you're giving and to make sure you're looking after yourself too.

Many women have a good chance of outlasting their savings.

The reality of less super is one thing. But when added to lower earnings and longer lifespans - women tend to outlive men by an average of five years and the gap is increasing4 - women need to work smarter to make sure they'll have enough money to meet their lifestyle needs down the track.

Help future proof your independence and your choices whether you're working and planning to become a new mum or move on from work altogether:

  1. Investing at the same time as paying off your mortgage may help you pay off your home sooner while creating an extra source of retirement income.
  2. During the years your income is lower you may be able to receive up to $500 as a government co-contribution if you make an after-tax super deposit. And your spouse may be able to claim an 18% tax rebate on up to $3,000 paid into your super if you're on a low income.
  3. Before reducing your working hours, salary sacrificing may be a good way to increase your super balance and lower your tax bill at the same time.

Whether you're a new mum or grandmother, it's not too early or late to build assets for a tomorrow that offers you choices. Give the future-you a Mother's Day gift and speak with a financial adviser to make sure your money is working hard to be there for you.

1 AMP.NATSEM Income and Wealth Report, Modern Family.
2 AMP.NATSEM Income and Wealth Report, Modern Family.
3 http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/04/science/study-in-science-shows-end-of-history-illusion.html?hp&_r=2&
4. University of New South Wales, http://cheba.unsw.edu.au/blog/why-do-women-live-longer-men#.UypdrfmSzrc.

What you need to know
Any advice in this article is general and does not take into account your personal circumstances so before making any decisions please consider your circumstances.