Studies on issues relating to women and money* tend to revolve around a lot of the same common challenges, earning capacity and investment risk tolerance just to name a few. These same areas of challenge for a typical woman can make an unexpected (or even expected!) experience like divorce even more daunting. As women begin making a transition to independence post-divorce, it is important they understand the unique challenges that most women face and how these issues will impact their ability to take control of their own financial future. In this brief, multi-part series, I hope to help women move away from their financial anxiety and into to their own stronger confident future by understanding some of these issues.
Let’s start out by talking dollars – primarily, those that are coming in the door. Women’s earning capacity as measured against men’s tends to get a lot of press – most likely because the disparity continues to persist. In studies as late as 2007, women earned about 77% of what men earned. The gap can be attributed to various reasons (traditional women’s career positions, discrimination, etc.) but actual time in the workforce is also a critical factor. Because our roles and responsibilities many times include caring for children and/or caring for our parents, women spend an average of 12 years out of the workforce; for men, the average is only 1.5 years. Shifting a focus from career goals to family and personal needs can substantially reduce a woman’s ability to move up the earnings progression – and can critically influence a woman’s ability to regain financial independence post divorce.
Working with a divorce financial advisor to plan your post-divorce independence cannot undo career decisions made in the past, nor do most of us want to take away from the importance of time spent on our family responsibilities. A Certified Divorce Financial Analyst can help a client gain insight on expense management, efficient asset and account utilization, and realistic goal setting and can help establish a solid and realistic foundation for future decision making. Women involved with a trusted financial advisor can begin planning for their future big picture post-divorce by starting on today’s important details with knowledge and confidence, and that makes dollars AND sense!
Carrie D. Wilson, CFP®, CDFA™
- 2006 Allianz Women, Money, and Power Study
- Focus Groups and nationwide online survey conducted by Larson Research and Strategy
- 2007 Allianz Women, Money, and Power Study Phase II
Securities and Investment Advisory Services offered through NFP Securities, Inc. (NFPSI), Member FINRA/SIPC. Divorce Financial Help is not affiliated with Clark, Waters & Hardy, LLC.
NFPSI is not affiliated with either Divorce Financial Help or Clark, Waters & Hardy, LLC.