June 2017

Untying the knot – Divorcees twice as likely to have no savings

A daunting part of a separation or divorce for most couples is sorting out the finances. Financial disputes can be a major stumbling block in the divorce process and could take longer than the divorce itself.

The choices and decisions that you make will have an important influence on your financial well-being for many years to come. Divorced or separated people are twice as likely to have no savings or investments compared with those who are married (32% vs. 14%), according to research by Zurich UK.

Post-divorce financial considerations

1. Create a new budget
With your household income being impacted, it’s essential to go through your finances. Creating a budget sheet will help you to keep track of your in-comings and outgoings.

2. Protect your credit score
You’ll be surprised at how many financial products and agreements you share with your ex-partner, from utility bills to mortgage repayments and credit cards, so it’s worth checking your credit record. Your credit report will list the details of every financial agreement you have. This will help protect your credit score from anomalous payments on the part of your former spouse.

3. Close joint accounts and open new ones in your name
It’s really important to make sure that all joint credit cards and accounts are closed, paid off in full or at the very least changed to either your name or your former partner’s.

4. Think about your pension
Your pension is probably the last thing on your mind, but it’s essential for your future that you plan ahead. You and your partner may have built up a strong pension pot, so it’s important to pay particular attention to how this is divided, to make sure you are getting the best outcome. It’s particularly important for women who may depend on their husband’s provisions for their retirement, as they could be in for a nasty shock.

5. Make the most of your protection cover
Many protection policies contain valuable support or counselling benefits that can provide vital help or advice if you are going through a divorce. This support can cover areas from financial to legal to emotional support. Protection can also play a key role in covering any maintenance liabilities for an agreed period, such as when children reach 18, in the event of severe illness or even death.

7. Update your Will
Once you are divorced or separated, your existing Will is unlikely to be appropriate to your new circumstances. Make sure you update this as soon as possible to ensure that your wishes are followed.

Taking a long-term view
Divorce can be an incredibly challenging time, both emotionally and financially. Understandably, the focus is naturally on splitting immediate assets, but it’s important that the long-term is also part of the planning. In fact, after the family home, a pension can actually be the biggest asset at stake, so protecting this in the first instance is crucial.

Source data:
All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 2,073 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 25 and 26 October 2016. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all UK adults (aged 18+).
900 adult participants (19-55+) who are representative of the general population took part in the Mindlab experiment in the UK from 25-26 October 2016.


Career kick-start – Parents feel it is their responsibility to support their children

Despite footing the bill for further education, almost a quarter of parents worry their children’s qualifications won’t be valuable in the workplace.

Parents in Britain are spending on average £17,400 to help kick-start their children’s careers, new research from Scottish Widows’ think tank, the Centre for the Modern Family (CMF), has found.*

Footing the bill

Spurred on by concerns that their children will struggle to find a secure job, almost half of parents claim to have paid for smart clothing for their children to wear to interviews, while almost a quarter have paid for additional training courses and 17% helped their offspring with student loans.

Whilst over a third of parents provided this support because they believe it is their responsibility, one in seven admits to helping their children due to concerns they won’t be able to find a job otherwise.

University tuition fees

Parents with one or more children contribute on average more than £6,000 to university tuition fees in total, with almost four in ten also funding their children’s accommodation while studying, costing £5,000 on average. This is despite the fact that almost a quarter are worried their children will gain qualifications which won’t be valuable in the workplace.

The research shows that young people entering the world of work need more practical support and parents feel it’s their responsibility to offer this, therefore adding an additional layer of financial and emotional pressure.

To ease the burden on parents and the next generation of Britain’s workforce, we need to find ways to offer more support, such as improving access to career support and financial guidance and, crucially, at a younger age than it’s currently offered.

Source data:

* Among those who have paid for something for their children towards their future career. The £17,400 figure was calculated by adding up the mean amount that parents said they spent on each of the following for their children: university degree tuition fees, additional training courses, student loan, smart clothes for job interviews, accommodation while they were studying, practical equipment to help with studying and training e.g. books. This was then divided byte average number of children amongst respondents, 2.205, to arrive at a figure of £7,900 per child.

This report is based on both quantitative and qualitative inputs, including a nationally representative YouGov survey of 2,305 adults, with an added boost of 16–18 year olds, interviews and discussions with the Centre for the Modern Family panellists and a series of focus group sessions also conducted by YouGov. Fieldwork was undertaken between 23 May and 2 June 2016.


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