Divorce Advice For Women

Why is smart divorce advice especially important for women?

When you look at the fundamentals, financial planning for women is not much different than planning for men.  After all we share common goals. Yet, unlike men, women face many unique issues that most men don’t.  

Women's life histories and the way we interact with employer-sponsored benefit plans, individual savings and insurance plans, Social Security, and other social safety net programs often create financial shortfalls.  High divorce rates and the high probability of widowhood also have a substantial impact on the financial circumstances of women. Women are often hit harder by divorce than men, as they try to navigate new lives with fewer financial resources and more child-care responsibilities.

Some of the challenges women face

  • Longer life spans
  • Shorter and interrupted working careers
  • Earnings disparity
  • Retirement systems that penalize women for temporary absence from the workforce
  • Financial literacy

Some startling statistics about women and money

  • Women rely on Social Security for a larger part of their income in retirement than do men, because women are less likely to have income from their own pensions than men (21% of women vs. 42% of men) and their pension benefits are less than half of men’s’ on average.
  • Nearly 20% of unmarried women 65 and older live below the poverty line.
  • Women need more retirement income because of a longer lifespan but they usually have less.
  • Women working full-time are still earning only 76% of what men earn or for an equal job.
  • Estimates suggest there are around 23 million unpaid care providers for children or elderly parents in the U.S.  Seven in ten are women.

Facing the Challenges

Because of the unique set of challenges that we women encounter, planning is more important than ever.  Some of the steps that you might want to take::

  • Get involved in the household finances and get informed
  • Stay out of debt
  • Take advantage of employer sponsored plans
  • Don’t have a corporate retirement plan?  Start your own individual retirement accounts
  • Establish your long term goals (future income needs, time horizon, etc.)
  • Determine a target amount that you need to save for retirement
  • Save lavishly for yourself
  • Identify an appropriate investment mix
  • Invest soundly and monitor progress on regular basis
  • Update your portfolio as your life changes or as you approach retirement

Procrastination is the most common cause of financial failure - get started planning your financial future now.


Ute Scott-Smith - Certified Divorce Financial Analyst

Ute Scott-Smith

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