Chicago, IL, July 2, 2012—Nearly two-thirds, or 62 percent, of divorced women with at least $1 million in net worth say they are better off financially since their divorce, according to new research from the Spectrem Group. Their financial well-being differs sharply from other divorced women, especially recently divorced women, who are twice as likely to live in poverty as recently divorced men, according to U.S. Census data.
High levels of wealth combined with financial acumen seem to insulate affluent women from the financial hardships that often accompany divorce. In 2009, the latest year for which data is available, the U.S. Census Bureau reported that 22 percent of women divorced in the 12 months under study lived in poverty, compared to 11 percent of men divorced during the same period.
A full 73 percent of divorced millionaire women say they are knowledgeable or very knowledgeable about investments. “In our face-to-face interviews, many wealthy divorced women told us that they feel they are better with money and investments than their former husbands,” says George Walper, Jr., president of Spectrem Group.
Divorced millionaire women are less concerned about guarding their principal than men or widows, according to Spectrem Group: 45 percent are focused on protecting principal compared to growing their investments, but 51 percent of millionaire men and 58 percent of millionaire widows prioritize principal over growth. Just 17 percent of divorced millionaire women describe their investment approach as conservative, comparable to 15 percent of millionaire men, but far fewer than 31 percent of millionaire widows who say they invest conservatively.
“With nearly half, or 49 percent, of divorced millionaire women still working, many feel confident about their futures and their ability to continue building their wealth,” Walper says.
The wealthy are somewhat less likely to be divorced than Americans overall. According to 2010 U.S. Census Bureau, 10.4 percent of people over 18 were divorced while Spectrem Group has found that about 7 percent of millionaire households, with $1 million to $5 million of net worth, and 9 percent of ultra high net worth households, with $5 million to $25 million in net worth, are divorced.
For those who do divorce, millionaire women say being single provides not only financial benefits but mental-health benefits as well: An overwhelming number, 77 percent, say they are much better off emotionally since the divorce.
More insights from Spectrem Group’s first-quarter investor reports are available on Spectrem’s MillionaireCorner.com, including:
Spectrem Group conducts monthly surveys with 1,500 wealthy investors on a variety of topics. Questions were taken from multiple months with the number of female respondents who qualified for this report.
About Spectrem Group
Spectrem Group is a strategic consulting firm specializing in the affluent and retirement markets, integrating proprietary research with expertise in building business, marketing and M&A strategies. Its professionals have held senior management positions at leading global companies.
About Spectrem’s MillionaireCorner.com
MillionaireCorner.com is a powerful source for up-to-the-minute news and information for investors, about investors designed to fuel financial growth. It incorporates Spectrem Group research as well as outside information. In the future, the site will offer financial advisor referrals.
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