The Divorcee Budget: Why Splitting Up Changes Everything For Women (But Not For Men)
5:45 pm, July 16th | by Amy Tennery
A doomsday-esque piece in the New York Times over the weekend lamented the deterioration of the two-parent, American family, claiming that children in single-parent households struggle in ways that children in quote-un-quote traditional families don’t. Of course while most single-parenting pearl-clutchers fret over the eroding of our (your voice should crack here) “moral fabric,” the Times story explored how single moms can be at a financial disadvantage.
And the story made us wonder: Are women really better off financially when they’re married? Are unattached women really at a financial disadvantage? A newly released study shows it’s not as simple a question as it may seem.
Women who are worth $1 million or more believe they’re in better financial shape after their divorces than they were beforehand, according to a Spectrem Group study on women and divorce obtained by Fox Business. And no, it’s not because of some major alimony-windfall. As it turns out, “nearly three quarters of women polled said that they became ‘knowledgable or very knowledgeable about investment’ after their divorces,” Fox Business reported. Being on your own means taking the reins on your investments.
Of course, this isn’t the case for all women. Those who reported a net worth less than $1 million reported financial struggles, on the whole. Recent female divorcees, meanwhile, were twice as likely to live at or below the poverty line than their male counterparts. The guys? Their finances stayed relatively the same.
The takeaway: Men are more likely to believe in their own financial literacy before divorce. And women of means are able to compensate for any perceived gap in ways that less wealthy women cannot.