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How I came out of a financially secure separation


This should preferably be six months of your salary and if you have a mortgage you will save a lot of interest on a side offset account. Don’t panic if you don’t have anything near that amount currently, prioritize it slowly.

I- Insurance

Stay with me if your eyes get glassy! You must “protect” before seeking to “prosper”.

Health insurance probably saved my life. Having it has given me the ability to stop this type of cancer in its tracks (hopefully) with extreme and expensive surgery.

For me, private health is non-negotiable. And the number of people who are abandoning it in the cost crisis we are in is a big concern.

On top of that, income protection insurance helped me replace my salary during my recovery. As a single person without a second salary, it’s vital, and the sooner you get it, the cheaper it is.

Ditto with life insurance, which now generally comes with an “immediate reimbursement” clause in the event of a diagnosis of a terminal illness.

You need at least enough to cover your debts and raise your children to the age of your choice. Set up your triple protection in an emergency.

R – Rates, not friends

Forget misplaced loyalty to a big lender, words can’t express the importance of the cheapest home loan, but numbers can. The difference between the (undiscounted) average of the highest interest rates and the best interest rates currently exceeds 3%.

Still haven’t sat down? Then realize that’s a whopping $1052 on a typical Australian mortgage of $600,000. Over 25 years of potentially overpaid interest, that’s $315,681, an amount that could go into your savings instead.

The Reserve Bank’s series of 2.25% interest rate hikes only added $804. Just say.

Even after Tuesday’s expected cash rate hike, you’ll be able to get a loan comparable in quality and features to a big bank product for an interest rate starting with a ‘4’ – and on the lower end of it – this.

S – Sort your super


Women still retire 23.4% less in superannuation than men according to the Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia (ASFA) – $137,050 vs. $178,800.

The problem is that it incorporates limitations such as lower pay (the gender pay gap is still 14.1%) and perhaps time off to raise children.

Women then often have to stretch a smaller retirement reserve over longer, statistically living about four years longer than men.

But it’s a problem for which there are solutions for the whole family (and even if things go wrong and you break up, EQing super along the way saves the person from having to give up some).

An annual spousal contribution and co-contribution can give you a tax-efficient or even free annual kick-start. Look to mop up, when you’ve both regained income, any unused super limits from the previous five years.

It is also important to check that you are both in the best performing and lowest paying funds.


Our to-do lists are long and self-care is at the bottom of them, but it’s important not to put off the medical interview and check-ups you know you’re supposed to.

Ladies, get a mammogram. And preferably an ultrasound too because mammograms can miss tumors like they did for me.

Gentlemen, go see your doctor for this medical examination that you postponed. Health is wealth.

And coming back to that, the wonderful dad of my kids said to me recently, “It’s thanks to you that we’ll both get through this financially.”

Time-tested your life. FIRST.

  • The advice given in this article is of a general nature and is not intended to influence readers’ decisions regarding investments or financial products. They should always seek professional advice that takes their personal circumstances into account before making financial decisions.