The publication Bloomberg states that a time of reckoning comes for legions of divorced baby boomer women in their 50s and beyond owing to a “cycle of financial abdication.”
Bloomberg’s focus on post-divorce money challenges for that demographic stresses that male spouses too often have sole oversight and responsibility regarding financial affairs during marriage. That reality makes post-divorce financial planning problematic for high numbers of women who become “surprised at how much they didn’t know about their finances” when married.
Culled evidence from a recent survey conducted by wealth managers indicates that the learning curve is indeed steep for many boomer-aged females living alone or remarrying following a divorce. A clear majority of survey respondents cited regrets about not being more determined and proactive regarding money management and financial decision making during their marriages. Many also stated that they were surprised by ex-spouses’ hidden spending habits and accrued debts.
There is an upside to the survey data. It underscores that many women voicing discontent with their separation from financial matters during marriage have become determined to change that reality as they embrace new post-divorce opportunities. And Bloomberg notes that, “Nearly all of them advise other women to get more [financially] involved early on.”
That is clearly good advice, and for multiple reasons. Women generally outlive men, which can make early financial planning an imperative to help ensure continued assets that must potentially remain available for decades. And Bloomberg duly points out that a timely financial focus is additionally warranted for boomer women contemplating remarriage because “subsequent marriages have a higher rate of dissolving than do first marriages.”