A rise in divorces among older couples — dubbed “gray divorces” — has cast a spotlight on the notion that most women are fiscally unprepared for a breakup. Even if you are not facing a divorce, you should be familiar with the household finances.
Don’t Get Caught Off-Guard
Among couples over 50, divorces have doubled since the 1990s. For many women, getting divorced means taking on responsibilities that were previously handled by their husbands.
According to a recent study, 59 percent of women regret not participating in long-term financial planning before they were widowed or divorced. And nearly all participants (98%) recommend that women take a more active role in their household finances.
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That might be because over half the women in this study discovered a financial surprise after getting divorced. From hidden debt to secret credit cards to an outdated will, an unfortunate financial revelation can burden you with debt as you start a new chapter of your life.
Have a Frank Discussion
A healthy understanding of your finances starts with transparency. Get familiar with your combined assets and liabilities so that you and your spouse are on the same page.
An open conversation today will set you up for more stability tomorrow. Make time for an annual review of your financial situation, and offer to get more involved in estate planning.
The Bottom Line
Divorce can affect everything from your retirement funds to your insurance policies to your credit rating. You should keep in mind the financial effects that a divorce or death may have on your financial situation, especially if you’ve played a smaller role in your family’s planning.
Want to avoid a rude awakening? Get a firm grasp on your financial well-being before it’s too late.