FINANCIAL IMPACT ON WIDOWS & DIVORCEES
WAKE UP SNOW WHITE.
IT’S A FAIRY TALE
…. And they lived happily ever after. Those words still make my heart smile. From the time I was a child and first saw the movie Snow White, I imagined Prince Charming riding into my life on his white steed.
Some women have been lucky enough to meet their Prince Charmings and are living a life of “happily ever after.”
Well, not everyone continues to live happily ever after. There is divorce, death of a spouse and women are left alone in the world with their finances in a mess.
Death of a spouse
The emotional devastation of the death of a spouse is compounded by the financial devastation if adequate life insurance is not in force on the husband and this does not affect only the elderly. A third of women who become widowed are younger than age 60.
What happens to the family if the husband dies prematurely? Can the surviving wife keep the house? Does she have the financial wherewithal to pay for college tuition?
Seventy percent of U.S. household with children under 18 would have trouble meeting everyday living expenses within a few months if a primary wage owner were to die today. 4 in 10 households with children under 18 say they would immediately have trouble meeting everyday living expenses. Source: LIMRA Household Trends in U.S. Life Insurance Ownership, 2010.
I recently met a woman who told me that their 20 year term life insurance policies were up for renewal and they assumed that the cost would be prohibitive because they were 20 years older so they did not request quotes on the insurance. Three months later, the husband was diagnosed with terminal cancer and died within the year.
Since people are living longer, mortality tables have been adjusted accordingly and the cost of life insurance has decreased. Can you afford not to have life insurance?
Divorce is also devastating to a woman.
According to George Mason University Sociology and law professor Lenore Weitzman in her book “The Divorce Revolution,” a typical woman endures a 73 percent reduction in her standard of living after a divorce. Her typical ex-husband enjoys a 42 percent increased standard of living. This is shocking statistics.
Since just 17 percent of men have custody of the children, the majority of women are left with balancing a career and caring for their young children. With women receiving only 79 percent of what men are being paid, a woman is starting her divorce status digging out of a hole.
About one in five women fall into poverty as a result of divorce. About one in three women who own a home and have children at home when they divorce lose their homes. Three out of four divorced mothers don’t receive full payment of child support.
How can a woman protect herself from being in financial ruin after the death of her spouse or a divorce?
It is imperative that women have a full understanding of ALL financial matters while she is married. She cannot afford to have her spouse handle all the financial matters. It is astonishing to me that some women I meet do not even know how to pay the bills on line nor have they written checks.
It is also imperative that women consult with a financial advisor. If she is married and her husband handles all meetings with their advisor, she must be present at these meetings and understand where how the money is invested.
If she is already a widow or divorced, she must consult with someone about her finances. With knowledge, there is power. Don’t be powerless if left alone.
Snow White still can live happily ever after. So can you.
Call Jane Fetter today for expert advice.