January 11, 2018
We’ve all heard the litany of differences between men and women. But the most important one that you need to understand right now are the financial ones. Even before your divorce is final, you need to have a handle on your finances. Keep reading to learn the differences that you might not realize and how to fix them.
Financial Differences: Men vs Women
Longer lives. Here in the US, women live five years longer than men on the average. While that may not sound like a lot, that’s five years’ worth of expenses that you need to plan for in retirement. That could mean sixty extra Mortgage or rent payments and sixty extra months of utilities, not to mention food, healthcare and other living expenses. It’s something to take into account as you project your budget forward.
Career gaps. Women most often take time off from careers to raise kids and then later, to take care of aging parents. That could mean gaps in your retirement savings or contributions toward Social Security.
Smaller savings accounts. Not only do women have career gaps, they tend to also fall into the wage gap. With less income, you may not be able to save as much.
More conservative when it comes to investing.The stock market can be a frightening place if you’re not familiar with it. Doing your own investing can be daunting, especially if it’s something your spouse had always taken care of.
Getting a Handle on Your Money
While these differences may seem huge, there are definitely things you can do to take control of your financial future. It doesn’t mean you’ve got to get a finance degree to do it, either. Here are the basics you need to know.
Take control of your finances. After your divorce, you’ll be solely responsible for what happens in your financial future. That means knowing every detail, down to the penny. What’s in your bank, what’s in your retirement account, what interest your credit cards charge. Get comfy, break out your favorite organizing tools and get started learning about your money.
Budget, budget, budget. Before it might’ve been less important if you spent a little extra on Amazon or didn’t pay as much on your credit card. But now you’ll need to track things more accurately, which means creating a budget. And it has to be one you’ll use. If you know you like seeing things on paper more than on a screen, grab a sturdy ledger book and start writing things down. It’s your budget, do it the way that works for you.
Learn more about investing. There are tons of online tools and sites that can help you get up to speed. Sites like Mint or Motley Fool can help you get a basic understanding of the things you need. You don’t need to learn every aspect of investing, so start with the basics. You can always go in-depth, but a basic understanding of the process will help boost your confidence.
Get help from a pro. If there are simply too many things for you to confidently handle right now, there are people who can help you. A Certified Divorce Financial Planner can work with you on all the aspects of your financial future. Get a little help, get a lot of help – it’s up to you.
How We Can Help
At Second Saturday Scottsdale, we’ve taken all the guesswork out of it for you. We have assembled a team of professionals who can help you on any aspect of your divorce: legal, financial, mental health. Sign up for our next workshop today and get on the road to your new future.