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Survey looks at financial status of people after divorce

People in Georgia might want to consider preparing for divorce just as they would for any other kind of unexpected incident, such as a disability or long-term illness. Around 40 percent of marriages end in divorce, and people tend to have lower incomes after a divorce.

For example, one survey found that divorced people tended to have an annual income that was $9,800 less than that of married people. Nearly half of divorced people said they were not saving or investing take-home pay compared to fewer than one-third of married people.

There was also an overall sense of greater financial vulnerability among divorced people. More than 40 percent of married people said they felt financially secure compared to just a quarter of divorced people. More than half of married people said they expected to be secure in retirement compared to 30 percent of divorced people. Just over one-third of married people were worried about running out of money during retirement compared to just under half of divorced people. However, despite the fact that almost two-thirds of married people say they do not have a plan in case they are divorced or widowed, nearly three-quarters of male respondents and almost two-thirds of female respondents said they feel confident about their ability to financially manage such a situation.

Unfortunately, there are many aspects of divorce that can affect a person's financial security that people may not anticipate. For example, losing half of a retirement account to a spouse shortly before retirement means a person has little time to rebuild the amount lost. The savings might have been built up with the assumption of the two sharing a household, and this is less costly than one person living alone. A lack of child or spousal support or having to pay child or spousal support can also create a financial strain for some people.

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