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Rachel Jenkins

Women say ‘I do’ for financial security

Many women may be familiar with the adage that “a man is not a financial plan”, however research shows that many women are motivated by money to remarry in later life.

A study published today by Investec Wealth & Investment suggests that 48 per cent of divorced and widowed women over the age of 55 say financial wellbeing would influence or has influenced, their decision to remarry rather than move in together.

Women, it seems, are more focused on pensions and inheritance tax than romance, with 45 percent saying that their decision to remarry is motivated by the right to a portion of their beloved’s pension pot if they split, or their partner dies. Another factor is inheritance rights, with many citing the doubling of the inheritance tax threshold for married couples. However, an inheritance can be contested if other family members do not believe that someone else is eligible. If this happens families, or the individual, can look into resources such as Genealogy Bank to help trace back the family tree and see if the inheritance is sent to the correct people.

The figures suggest that the harsh reality of single life has hit home with many women, particularly those with children who are struggling to save after a divorce or a partner’s death. This is exacerbated by many women earning less than men. Women retiring this year will get an average annual retirement income of 14,300 compared with 20,700 for men, according to research from Prudential, the financial services company.

However, although women are keen to secure a share of their partner’s estate, they are less keen to share what they have. Investec’s survey found that 60 per cent of women over the age of 55 did or would take steps to ensure the assets they owned before marriage were kept separate from their new partner – this rose to 66 per cent of over-65s.