Coronavirus Operations Memo: Click Here | Magnus documents: Form ADV | Form CRS | Privacy Policy

Hasn’t your divorce cost you enough already?

- February 28, 2018

Michael S. Schwartz, CFP®, AEP®

Chief Executive Officer
Wealth Management Advisor

View on

The last thing that The last thing that Matt Lauer and Annette Roque probably expected when they walked down the aisle was that their marriage would go up in flames. Unfortunately, it appears that the recent sexual misconduct allegations that cost Lauer his job may have cost him his marriage, too. Reportedly, neither Roque nor Lauer has been sporting a wedding ring in the Hamptons, where Lauer owns a $36.5 million estate in addition to a $17.9 million mansion in Sag Harbor1 . While the circumstances surrounding every marriage are unique, the reality is that as many as 50 percent of all marriages still end in divorce, with that statistic becoming even more daunting for second and third marriages2 . And there’s more to it than just statistics: Divorce is a sobering event that can involve emotional trauma and extend beyond that into the twisted web of personal finances, which, even in the most civilized of cases, can wreak havoc on both spouses’ bank accounts. According to Mariko Chang, author of Shortchanged, women generally possess $0.36 for every $1 of wealth owned by a man3 . While it’s no longer the 1960s, when nearly half of all married women were stay-at-home moms, women today cannot afford to be uninvolved in marital finances, an area that many such women once delegated to their husbands. Instead, the tide has turned in terms of attitudes toward marriage. Same-sex marriages have been legalized in a variety of jurisdictions; they are now generally accepted, and our social mores have evolved. Yet, men still maintain the mantle of top earner among the majority of couples4.

“Divorce has proven that things can change, but a qualified financial advisor should be a constant in your life.”

This suggests that women need to be especially vigilant and mindful when assets are divided. Even in nontraditional marriages, the same issues arise when one partner is earning significantly more than the other, or one partner exclusively manages the family finances. While in a perfect world, spouses would make financial decisions together, in reality this is not always the case. Both spouses may have a role in paying bills, but the investment portfolio is more often than not a different story. A Wells Fargo study suggests, for example, that slightly more than one-third of affluent married women surveyed managed the household investments5 . As a result, a large percentage of divorced women are often thrust into a whole new world, one that tends to spring surprises on them that could derail their financial future. That’s why it is important for those facing a divorce to engage a financial advisor early in the process, preferably one who is also a certified financial planner professional. This professional can objectively help you: • map out your cash-flow needs post-divorce • create a budget based on your after-tax income • understand how to properly allocate settlement proceeds • understand your future retirement needs • review and recommend changes to your will, any trusts, medical proxy and life insurance policies The fact is that women still outlive their male counterparts by about five years, and half of women will live beyond their 85th birthday6. This means that women have income needs post-retirement that may surpass those of their husbands’, something that could be lost in a divorce settlement if proper guidance is lacking7 . In short, good advice is everything: The end of your marriage does not have to mean the end of your financial security. Divorce has proven that things can change, but a qualified financial advisor should be a constant in your life. So, try to maintain that relationship and remain nimble—because divorce may be just one of many knuckleballs that life throws at you. That’s why it’s recommended that you revisit the financial plan you have established with your financial advisor at least once a year so that you can make the necessary adjustments when those unforeseen circumstances do occur, in order to increase your odds of achieving a desired outcome.

4 national/article148558804.htm
6 retirement/plan-for-a-long-retirement-tool
7 why-do-women-live-longer-than-men


Guest Contributors
Michael S. Schwartz, Ron Deutsch, Drew J. Collins, Sharon Hayut, Michael Tanney, Paul F. Hoerrner., Jr. CFP, J. Scott Kephart
at Magnus Financial Group LLC. | | 800.339.1367


Magnus Financial Group LLC (“Magnus”) did not produce and bears no responsibility for any part of this report whatsoever, including but not limited to any microeconomic views, inaccuracies or any errors or omissions. Research and data used in the presentation have come from third-party sources that Magnus has not independently verified presentation and the opinions expressed are not by Magnus or its employees and are current only as of the time made and are subject to change without notice.

This report may include estimates, projections or other forward-looking statements, however, due to numerous factors, actual events may differ substantially from those presented. The graphs and tables making up this report have been based on unaudited, third-party data and performance information provided to us by one or more commercial databases. Except for the historical information contained in this report, certain matters are forward looking statements or projections that are dependent upon risks and uncertainties, including but not limited to factors and considerations such as general market volatility, global economic risk, geopolitical risk, currency risk and other country-specific factors, fiscal and monetary policy, the level of interest rates, security-specific risks, and historical market segment or sector performance relationships as they relate to the business and economic cycle.

Additionally, please be aware that past performance is not a guide to the future performance of any manager or strategy, and that the performance results and historical information provided displayed herein may have been adversely or favorably impacted by events and economic conditions that will not prevail in the future. Therefore, it should not be inferred that these results are indicative of the future performance of any strategy, index, fund, manager or group of managers. Index benchmarks contained in this report are provided so that performance can be compared with the performance of well-known and widely recognized indices. Index results assume the re-investment of all dividends and interest and do not reflect any management fees, transaction costs or expenses.

The information provided is not intended to be, and should not be construed as, investment, legal or tax advice nor should such information contained herein be construed as a recommendation or advice to purchase or sell any security, investment, or portfolio allocation. An investor should consult with their financial advisor to determine the appropriate investment strategies and investment vehicles. Investment decisions should be made based on the investor’s specific financial needs and objectives, goals, time horizon and risk tolerance. This presentation makes no implied or express recommendations concerning the way any client’s accounts should or would be handled, as appropriate investment decisions depend upon the client’s specific investment objectives.

Investment advisory services offered through Magnus; securities offered through third party custodial relationships. More information about Magnus can be found on its Form ADV at


This report is intended solely for the use of its recipient. There is a fee associated with the access to this report and the information and materials presented herein. Re-distribution or republication of this report and its contents are prohibited. Expert use is implied.


Asset class performance was measured using the following benchmarks: U.S. Large Cap Stocks: S&P 500 TR Index; U.S. Small & Micro Cap: Russell 2000 TR Index; Intl Dev Large Cap Stocks: MSCI EAFE GR Index; Emerging & Frontier Market Stocks: MSCI Emerging Markets GR Index; U.S. Intermediate-Term Muni Bonds: Bloomberg Barclays 1-10 (1-12 Yr) Muni Bond TR Index; U.S. Intermediate-Term Bonds: Bloomberg Barclays U.S. Aggregate Bond TR Index; U.S. High Yield Bonds: Bloomberg Barclays U.S. Corporate High Yield TR Index; U.S. Bank Loans: S&P/LSTA U.S. Leveraged Loan Index; Intl Developed Bonds: Bloomberg Barclays Global Aggregate ex-U.S. Index; Emerging & Frontier Market Bonds: JPMorgan EMBI Global Diversified TR Index; U.S. REITs: MSCI U.S. REIT GR Index, Ex U.S. Real Estate Securities: S&P Global Ex-U.S. Property TR Index; Commodity Futures: Bloomberg Commodity TR Index; Midstream Energy: Alerian MLP TR Index; Gold: LBMA Gold Price, U.S. 60/40: 60% S&P 500 TR Index; 40% Bloomberg Barclays U.S. Aggregate Bond TR Index; Global 60/40: 60% MSCI ACWI GR Index; 40% Bloomberg Barclays Global Aggregate Bond TR Index.