Sandra: Within Women’s Wealth, we often talk about a life path – something that illustrates what financial topics are relevant at different life stages. In my case, I’ve always taken an interest in banking and finance, which is why I chose to join a bank after my studies. I’m someone who enjoys taking on new responsibilities at work, so I’ve been in a management role for several years now. Where are each of you personally on your life path?
Domenica: Once my career had begun, I wanted to learn more about wealth management, because I’ve always really enjoyed banking and working with clients. My husband and I decided to make the move from Germany to Switzerland. I really enjoy my current job at the bank – it’s extremely varied and I benefit from the experience of my colleagues who’ve been working in wealth management for a long time.
Andrea: I’ve been working 60% for a few years and manage to combine career and a family thanks to flexible working hours, nursery, school and the support of my husband. But working 60% also makes certain career moves very challenging or even impossible – heading up a team or traveling more for work, for example. But I’ve always been aware of this, and other ways of working such as job sharing haven’t materialized.
Sandra: Each life stage has certain financial issues that are most pressing. How do you tackle them?
Andrea: Our children are still in education, maybe later on they’ll spend some time abroad. Thanks to pocket money and their own account for young people, they’ve gained some initial experience with finances. We show them what it takes to fulfill a specific wish, for example. To avoid financial surprises once the children leave home, my husband and I take care of our finances together, including our investments. It’s important that the investment strategy is right for both of us. I’m responsible for everyday finances such as payments – at the beginning of the year we do some liquidity planning so that we can plan for larger purchases in advance wherever possible. We also regularly check our retirement situation, by discussing our pension fund statement at least once a year together and changing our contributions if necessary. We also tackle subjects that we’d prefer not to have to discuss. For example, we’ve worked out what we’ll do if something unforeseen happens, such as loss of earnings.
Domenica: At the start of our careers and after moving to Switzerland, we had to consider which financial services we needed. We have E-Banking because we want to be able to access our finances digitally at any time. Since we started earning, we were also faced with the question of how to invest our money sensibly. We discuss investments a lot, but we both have our own investment strategies to meet our individual needs – for me, sustainable investments are important. How do you deal with these issues, Sandra?
Sandra: My husband and I have been dealing with topics such as pensions, investments or real estate for a long time. We take care of financial matters together and check everything in detail once a year, together with our bank advisor. In doing so, we also check the strategic direction of our investments with regard to our retirement benefits. I think this is very important because this way we can ensure that we maintain our desired standard of living after we retire.
Sandra: I’m often asked what advice I’d give to my younger self. From a financial point of view, my advice for women at any stage in life is the same: take your finances into your own hands and get an idea of your own financial situation. Transparency is the first step in taking appropriate measures to align your long-term financial planning with your personal needs. This way, you ensure that no financial surprises await you in future. What advice would you give your younger self?
Andrea: If I could give younger women career advice, it would probably be to keep working even when your kids are young, and thus take responsibility for your own retirement provision. In addition, networking is a particularly important part of professional life, because it’s a way of meeting inspiring people. And last but not least, one should remain curious – because only in this way are new professional experiences possible.
Domenica: Moving abroad for my career has been very positive for me so far and I would do it again. We don’t yet know whether we’ll move back to Germany in the long term. The focus at the moment is on further steps in my career. To this end, I recommend that everyone in the same situation take advantage of opportunities. To remain curious in order to gain new experiences – I’ve found this to be very valuable.