For some, it means liberation. For others, loss. For women in particular, the doubling of the divorce rate for the 50-plus crowd since the 1990s can mean something far more prosaic: a need to shoulder the big financial decisions they’d let their spouses deal with when they were married.
Often, they find some nasty surprises after he’s gone.
A majority of married women—56 percent—still leave major investing and financial planning decisions to their spouse, according to a report, “Own Your Worth,” released Friday by UBS Global Wealth Management.
It’s not just older women slipping into the more traditional gender roles of their parents: Some 61 percent of millennial women said they leave investment decisions to their husbands. That compares with 54 percent for baby boomer women.
UBS surveyed more than 600 women who have either been divorced or widowed within the last five years, along with 1,500 couples. Respondents had to have at least $250,000 in investable assets.
The difference is stark in attitudes toward making major financial decisions between married women and women who were divorced or widowed.
Fifty-nine percent of widows and divorcees regret not taking part in long-term financial planning when they were in a couple.