trendspotting | PLANADVISER July/August 2017

Derailing Women's Retirement

Divorce may create a financial crisis

By Rebecca Moore | July/August 2017

The latest update of Allianz Life Insurance of North America’s ongoing study “Women, Money and Power” suggests the majority of women who went through a divorce feel it “created a personal financial crisis.”

In fact, a strong majority (64%) indicated as much. Nearly an equal percentage (59%) noted that losing their spouse due to divorce was a real “wake-up call” for them, from a financial standpoint.

“Although fewer widowed respondents (43%) said losing their spouse due to … death created a financial crisis, a full 60% felt [that] the loss … served as a financial wake-up call,” the study notes.

Interestingly, these responses came despite the fact that the majority of women in the study (51%) claimed they are the “chief financial officer” of their household. The findings are also somewhat surprising, given that more than two-thirds of women said they currently feel financially secure, with that number rising to 73% for married women. Evidently, married couples rely on each other significantly for financial peace of mind.

“It’s clear that no matter how confident women feel about their current financial situation and ability to manage money, divorce and/or becoming a widow can create turmoil that has lasting effects,” observes Allianz Life Senior Director of Consumer Insights Deb Repya. “It’s important that women play an active role in every aspect of their family’s financial planning.”

More than one-third (34%) of women in the study identified running out of money in retirement as their top concern.