Separation, divorce or losing your partner, can have a devastating impact both emotionally and financially. Unfortunately, a large proportion of us will experience this, we must understand how we can protect our future selves.
There are 5 choices every woman must make, to protect themselves from the financial devastation of divorce, these should be taught to all of us from a young age. Unfortunately, we don’t consider the high probability of us experiencing either separation, divorce or the loss of our partner. If we did, we may make different choices in our earlier lives.
The Facts – The importance of being realistic
In 2015 in Australia 113,595 women got married and 48,517 women got divorced, I am sure that on the day that they married, these couples did not see or want that in their future.
It is important for us to be realistic and while no one should enter a marriage with divorce in mind, unfortunately that is the reality for 1 in 3 marriages. If we are in a de facto relationship, then the probability of relationship breakdown is even higher.
The older we get the more likely it is that we will experience separation, divorce or the loss of our partner. With 1 in 3 marriages ending in divorce, couples separate after 8.4 years of marriage and divorce by 12.1 years. Almost 50% of divorces involve children under 18. Women are still the primary care givers, not only of their children when they are young, but potentially carers of their ageing parents as well.
“On average we get divorced when we are 42.7 years, by which time if we have had an extended career break, it is difficult to change the financial trajectory we are on.”
I have seen many women lose their confidence after having an extended career break and struggling to re-establish themselves in their industry.
Look after yourself –The importance of having a plan
Why do we need to know this information? Because first and foremost we need to make sure we can look after ourselves.
“There is a reason that the flight attendants tell you to put your oxygen mask first, because you can’t look after anyone else, if you are not ok yourself!”
As women we have a tendency to want to look after everyone else first and in our lives, there is a never ending list of things to do. Throw children into the mix and often our needs and wants are so far down the list, that they never see the light of day.
The 5 choices every woman must make
1. Maintain your financial independence
Maintan some form of your own financial identity and income.
2. Think very carefully before you give up your career
There have been some very high profile examples lately where the wife had given up her career (or had long career breaks) and at the time it made sense for the family. This may be ok if financially you will never need to support yourself, but how realistic is that?
3. Actively participate in all financial decisions within your relationship.
There are plenty of examples where women have not participated financial discussions or decisions, but you will ultimately be living with the consequences.
4. Invest in yourself
Invest in yourself by taking some time to focus on you, your ongoing personal development and your financial education.
5. Plan on one day being on your own
We must plan on one day being on our own, if we live to 85 and beyond only 17% of us are still married, but for a lot of us, this happens well before then.
To read more download my eBook The 5 Choices Every Woman Must Make
There is so much we need to learn about financial independence and protecting our families, our assets and ourselves. School does not prepare us for these aspects of our lives, and often we are learning through experience at the worst possible time. We need to do this not only for ourselves but for our families.
We need to be ready for whatever life throws at us
Kerry Ashbrook is an entrepreneur, business women, inspirational speaker, author, coach, corporate executive, investor and founder of Life You Choose. After a long and successful corporate career and achieving personal wealth through investment, Kerry is pursuing her passion to empower women in their lives to achieve financial independence and to live the life they choose.
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