I’m 62 years of age and have just blown $50,000 in superannuation after a painful divorce took me on a spending frenzy around the world.
Those are the words of Jessica Jones, who declined to have her real name published on Financy.com.au. But she wants to share her story in the hope of helping other women make better money decisions.
Divorce is one of those unfortunate life events – well unfortunate at the time – that can often leave men and women financially worse off after they split assets.
Quite often many women are left homeless or couch surfing. According to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, between 2012 and 2015 more than 187,000 people, of which 110,000 were women, sought help from specialist homelessness services such as WIRE in Victoria.
On top of that women who are getting divorced later in life generally retire on half the superannuation savings as men because of less pay and time spent out of the workforce caring for loved ones.
Now that the dust has settled, Jessica admits to being a little stupid with her money.
She had been on a full-time salary of about $65,000 when divorce struck.
The emotional upheaval, which rates right up there with death, meant that the family home had to be sold and the profit of about $180,000 halved between them. Leaving Jessica with $90,000, less legal and property sale fees.
The amount was hardly enough to buy a property in Australia, at least not one in the city she lived.
What’s worse, because of her age, Jessica has struggled to get a bank to lend her enough money to afford to get back in the property market.
Jessica has since quit her job and is now overseas visiting family and friends – which sounds wonderful, except that it’s not really.
The trip, which she believes is important to help her get out of a state of depression, is being funded by a $50,000 superannuation payout.
That money perhaps could have gone towards a new house deposit or at the very least, some of it could have been saved until such a time that she was ready to invest in her future again.
We cannot stress how important it is to not undervalue the importance of your own financial security and to seek help when you need it.
If you need help with depression contact Lifeline or Beyond Blue and if you cannot afford to pay for financial advice to help you navigate divorce and your money decisions, the Salvation Army also offer a free financial counselling service.