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Divorcees, Widows Use Advisors More Than Men

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While divorced women seem to be more independent than widows when making financial decisions, widows are almost two times more likely to describe themselves as financially conservative, the Spectrem Group reported this week.

But both groups are more likely than men to work with a financial advisor, according to the Chicagoland-based wealth researcher’s report, “Women in Transition.”

Only 16% of divorced women in Spectrem’s study describe themselves as advisor-dependent, compared with 20% of widows.

Meanwhile, widows are nearly two times more likely than divorcees to call themselves financially conservative, with about 31% of widows describing themselves as conservative investors versus just 17% of divorcees.

“At the other extreme, 6% of widows and 14% of divorcees describe themselves as aggressive investors,” Spectrem reported. “In comparison, 22% of men say they are aggressive.”

As for working with a financial advisor, Spectrem said that more than 20% of widows participating in the study described themselves as “advisor-dependent,” compared with 16% of divorced women. 

“What’s more, 44% of divorcees say they like investing, compared to 39% of widows,” Spectrem reported. “Both groups strongly prefer to work with a full-service broker, but a widow is more likely than a divorcee to work with an independent financial planner.”

For advisors seeking more information about working with widows, the Alliance of Cambridge Advisors (ACA), a Highland, Mich., nonprofit group of fee-only financial planners, has published Moving Forward on Your Own: A Financial Guidebook for Widows, by Kathleen Rehl, Ph.D., CFP.

The guidebook, which won a 2012 International Book Awards prize in the Women’s Issues category and was named a finalist in the Business: Personal Finance category, integrates basic financial information with self-reflective exercises to encourage self-confidence about money issues. The format it is intended to serve as a catalyst to help women make progress after a spouse’s death.

Read Advisors vs. the Bag Lady Nightmare: 4 Women Talk Money With Terry Savage at AdvisorOne.


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