For many, divorce signifies financial freedom. And, as a new study reveals, divorce can also signify great financial achievement.
According to Spectrem Group, a financial consulting firm that conducts monthly surveys, 62% of high-income divorced women (worth $1 million or more) believe that they’ve benefitted financially from their divorces—and not just in the way you’re probably thinking.
The Group asked high-income divorcées how divorce affected their finances, and the results were surprising. Above all other changes, women cited increased financial literacy as the top money-related change in their post-divorce lives. Nearly three quarters of women polled said that they became “knowledgeable or very knowledgeable about investments” after their divorces.
As President of Spectrem Group George Walper Jr. commented in a recent press release: “Many wealthy divorced women told us that they feel they are better with money and investments than their former husbands.”
But not all divorced women benefit financially from their splits. The Spectrem Group compared high-income divorced women to divorced women worth less than $1 million, and the financial disparities were clear: “Their [i.e. high-income women’s] financial well-being differs sharply from other divorced women, especially recently divorced women, who are twice as likely to live in poverty as recently divorced men.”
It seems that high-income women can assume financial responsibility and become more financially literate after their divorces because they have the means to do so. As the Group reports: “High levels of wealth combined with financial acumen seem to insulate affluent women from the financial hardships that often accompany divorce.”
So what do these stats mean for you if you’re not a high roller? Income aside, there are a few key ways you can protect yourself financially if you’re facing a divorce. Don’t miss our posts (here and here) on limiting financial damage from a split.