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Women more likely to face long-term financial effects of divorce

According to a recent study, women who file for divorce are more likely to suffer long-term financial repercussions of that split than women who remain married or remarry following divorce. Specifically, the data indicates that divorced women may end up with less money when they enter retirement as a result of the loss of their former spouse’s Social Security retirement benefits.

The study was conducted through an examination of Social Security Administration data on about 600 women who were divorced in the 1970s. Although women who do not remarry following a divorce experience increased personal earnings in the remainder of their working years, their wealth status often changed at retirement. On average, divorced women earned an average of $1,000 per month less in Social Security retirement benefits than their continuously married or remarried counterparts.

Researchers found that the average monthly Social Security retirement benefit amount for divorced women was about $1,000 per month. In comparison, remarried women received about $2,000 per month, and women who had never filed for divorce received about $2,200 per month, combining their benefits with their spouse’s.

Of course, a divorce does not always equal automatic financial doom for all women. It may just mean that divorced women have to plan for retirement a little better and work a little harder than women who remain married or remarry following a split. It may be helpful to work with an experienced Georgia family law attorney or financial planner to ensure that you are prepared for retirement despite a divorce.

Source: Forbes, “Study Shows Divorced Women Have Less Economic Security Than Women Who Stay Married,” Jeff Landers, Nov. 1, 2011