With many women likely to become solely responsible for their financial wellbeing at some point in their lifetime, you might very well want to be.

Higher rates of divorce coupled with women living longer than men1 brings to light an important point, if you’re a woman, and that’s the likelihood that at some stage in your lifetime you’ll be responsible for your own financial wellbeing (if you aren’t already).

If you’re thinking, (meh!) my other half will always take care of me, you might be interested to know that according to a study published by UBS Wealth Management in the United States last year, eight out of 10 women will become solely responsible for their financial wellbeing at one point or another2.

We take a look at some of the insights that came out of the report, as well as what tips women had for other women in regard to their money matters.

Findings from the report

  • Some of the statistics that came out of the study included the following3:
  • 3:59% of divorcees and widows wish they’d been more involved in long-term financial decisions.
  • 56% of divorcees and widows discovered financial surprises after the fact, such as high debt, outdated wills and hidden accounts.
  • 53% would have done fewer household chores to find more time for finances.
  • 98% encouraged other women to take a more active role in their money matters.

Cross-generational differences

According to the report, younger women were perpetuating rather than transforming the status quo, with 61% of Millennial women leaving financial decisions to their partner, compared to 55% of Generation X women and 54% of Baby Boomer women4.

Despite this, younger women were also more likely to believe they should be doing more to better manage their finances than their older counterparts5.

Meanwhile, the reasons why women minimised their role in major financial decisions, included men being seen as financial providers, men often being the bread winners within the household and time constraints providing challenges for women, as they often took on the majority of household duties, which included paying bills and tracking day-to-day spending6.

Actions you could take today

Some insights that came out of the research included7:

  • Know what assets and liabilities you have
  • Know what you want in life
  • Know what cashflow you have to meet your short-term expenses
  • Know what you’ve got behind you for your longer-term needs, like retirement
  • Know what you want beyond that, such as whether you want to leave an inheritance
  • Have the money talk with your partner (and if you’re not sure where to start, check out our 10 money conversations to have with your other half)
  • Set an example of working as a team for younger generations.

Looking for further info?

Depending on what you and your partner see yourselves doing in the future, here are some other articles that may be of interest:

Meanwhile, for more ideas when it comes to managing money, check out our Financial help hub.

1-7 UBS Report - Own your worth (How women can break the cycle of abdication and take control of their wealth) pages 1, intro, 2, 3, 5, 6, 9

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