A survey of women in various stages of divorce addressed the financial aspects of ending a marriage. The survey revealed that many women encountered surprises concerning money, which culminated in a list of six major financial fears.
An in-depth study
The online marketplace Worthy undertook a 2018 study in which 1,785 women in various stages of divorce participated. The women represented all age groups. Some were heading toward divorce, others were in the throes of divorce and some were already divorced. The survey asked if any of the participants had experienced financial “surprises,” and while 38% of the women 55 and older answered in the affirmative, over half of the younger respondents admitted to having faced such unexpected issues.
A list of financial surprises
Here are the six major financial surprises the survey participants encountered:
- Not knowing the extent of their marital debt, including mortgage, credit card debt, auto loan and student loan debt
- Assuming alimony and/or child support payments would be higher
- Assuming they could keep their home
- Not anticipating they would have to go back to work
- Not knowing how much health care insurance costs
- Underestimating the cost of divorce
Surprises become fears
Most of the survey participants said their greatest fear was having to live on one income following divorce. Many of the younger women admitted to having relegated all the marital financial dealings to their husbands and now had to learn how to manage bills and investments themselves. Older women were much more concerned about retirement than millennials, especially because women live longer these days. Many of the women in the Baby Boomer generation acknowledged the need to build their investment portfolios.
Ending a marriage is a traumatic experience, and fear of the financial unknown can strike quickly. In addition to the legal guidance you expect in terms of divorce preparation, consider how an advocate can help you face the future with confidence, including the realistic management of your financial fears.