Often, many women leave major financial responsibilities to their husbands and find a surprising burden to shoulder when faced with death or divorce of a spouse. Over sixty percent of women wind up leaving the major investing and financial planning decisions to their spouse.
Both millennial women and baby boomers find themselves slipping comfortably into the more traditional gender roles where financial decisions are left to the husband. Fifty-nine percent of those who become widowed or divorced have stated they regret not having been more involved in the long-term financial planning when they were married. Eighty-five percent of married women who weren’t active in making long-term financial decisions said their spouse knows more about financial issues than they do. Eighty percent of women said they were content with how financial responsibilities were split in their marriage.
Divorcees often find themselves burned by financial surprises that occur during their split. Though not all surprises were negative, some women discovered substantial retirement accounts, but the majority have had to face new financial wrinkles in the process of splitting up. The surprise at how much they didn’t know about their finances is a recurring theme leaving more questions than answers. Among the negative surprises were hidden spending costs, high debt and other hidden accounts. Outdated wills were another unwelcome discovery.
Most women wish they had been more involved in the financial planning and they encourage others to get involved as early as possible. Complete financial transparency with your spouse is a way to start. And because subsequent marriages have a higher rate of dissolving than first marriages, getting more active in financial decision making in the relationship is a good move to make.