‘Til debt do us part – why women should maintain their financial independence after marriage Aside from being one of the most emotionally devastating life events, divorce can have a severe impact on a woman’s quality of life and mean that neither party has enough funds for retirement.
Jenny Gordon, head of retail legal support at Alexander Forbes, cautions that with at least a third of all marriages leading to divorce it is vital that the modern woman “remains engaged with the household finances and is aware and appraised of all assets and expenses.” “Statistics show that more women than men initiate divorce.
With a higher rate of single women parents, and historically lower salaries for women, the importance of establishing financial security and independence early on in a marriage cannot be overstated,” Gordon said. “After divorce, a woman’s standard of living usually goes down. Without a doubt; that nest egg you’ve been nurturing will come in handy.” Gordon also advised that if any Trusts exist, to make sure you understand how it affects you. “Build an independent credit rating, establish your own accounts and bank three months’ worth of expenses as a cushion should anything happen.”
Women generally live longer than men, meaning that their retirement funds will have to last longer. “The rule of thumb is to start saving for retirement the day you start your first job.” Having financial security will allow women to be more secure with their families and more productive in the workplace. “Many people are forced to remain in unhappy marriages due to financial hardship. But having financial woes can also be the root of marital problems, so taking control of your finances is the answer.”