Pennsylvania households that go through divorce face greater difficulty amassing retirement wealth. According to the Center for Retirement Research, households with couples who remain married have about 30 percent more net wealth than their divorced counterparts. They also have a 5 percent greater risk of running out of assets. However, there is one big exception to this phenomenon: single women.
Data shows that single females who have been divorced have just as good retirement plans as those who never got married in the first place. The reason for this unlikely trend comes down to real estate. Divorced women often end up with ownership of a home. They can then tap into this equity to build more robust retirement portfolios. This accumulation of wealth often offsets the high cost of raising children.
Despite real estate being a huge source of money for divorced women, financial advisers often recommend that their clients get rid of their homes shortly after separating. This is because homes with large mortgage payments, property taxes and homeowners association fees can be a big financial burden. If women can afford to stay in the home in the long-term, the payoff for retirement can be significant.
When going through a high-asset divorce, a spouse may want to obtain legal representation. The division of high-value items like homes, cars and antiques may be decided in a negotiated settlement or in front of a judge and jury. It’s the responsibility of the attorney to find solutions that benefit both the short- and long-term interests of the client.