A survey shows that divorcing women face financial surprises

Ending a marriage brings changes in the lives of both parties. However, a survey of women in various stages of divorce revealed unexpected consequences as they faced the future.

Many of the survey participants cited “financial surprises” in a post-divorce world.

The 2018 survey

In 2018, the online marketplace Worthy launched a study of 1,785 women who were in three different stages of divorce: facing divorce, in the middle of the process or already divorced. The goal was to gain a clearer picture of the impact on their finances. The women provided information about their life expectations once the split was final. The study, entitled “Building a Financial Fresh Start,” asked if the women had encountered or expected to encounter “financial surprises.” Of the participants aged 55 and older, 38% said they had. However, nearly half of the younger women admitted to having faced unexpected financial dilemmas.

Financial issues and marriage

The survey found that about 23% of younger women had given their spouses total financial control during their marriage while only 18% of the 55-plus age group had relinquished control. The study showed that boomers were twice as concerned about retirement as millennials and more focused on building their post-divorce investment portfolios. Interestingly, almost three-quarters of the survey participants had not considered the idea that their engagement rings were assets they could sell to obtain investment funds or supplement their savings.

The greatest fear

Today, women are living longer. This is a good thing, but longevity brings concerns. Most of those who participated in the survey said their greatest fear in terms of a secure financial future was the ability to survive on only one income. Because women must take responsibility for their financial lives after divorce, those who shared in functions like earning and saving money, paying bills and investing while married felt more certain of enjoying a brighter financial future as newly single.

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