Barbara J. Katzenberg, Attorney at Law
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Post-divorce: financial tips for women

Despite Title IX and the recent gold medals for women at the Olympics, there is significant data that shows women are not on the same level as men in some areas of life. One of those areas is financial averages and net worth after divorce.

There are three disturbing statistics of which Massachusetts women should be aware. The first is that nationally women earn 77 cents for each dollar earned by men. The second is that women's earnings, on average, drop 37 percent after divorce. The third is that women's retirement funding is roughly 60 percent of that of a man's. Those are grim statistics but industry experts have some financial tips to help correct this situation.

  • Having an emergency fund is good advice for anyone, but is particularly necessary for a post-divorce woman. Try to set aside 6 months (one year is better) of living expenses so you won't have to dip into retirement savings to handle emergencies.
  • Contribute the maximum to your retirement accounts. At minimum you should contribute to obtain your employer's matching amount. In general, there is no such thing as too much retirement savings.
  • Rebalance your investment portfolio. As a single woman, you may have a different tolerance for risk compared to your risk tolerance as a married person.

There are other details to attend to as well, such as an updated will, change of life insurance beneficiaries and other legal or financial issues. Working with experienced professionals can help a woman navigate these post-divorce matters.

Source: Melrose Patch, "Financial Tips for Newly Single Women," Christopher C. Cinella, Aug.3, 2012

At our Worcester law firm we represent individuals with divorce and post-divorce issues such as those mentioned in this posting.

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