We need more money in the hands of women.
Riches to Rags
I recall the widow of a wealthy client coming in to see me a few days after his funeral to tell me she had barely anything left in her fridge and no money to buy groceries.
As soon as the funeral was over, her children told her she had to leave the home. Her late husband had the title of the house registered solely in his name. The same with his one million dollar portfolio.
Left With Nothing
And in his will, he named his three children as beneficiaries of his assets — the home and the substantial investment portfolio. And nothing was mentioned about his wife of forty-five years!
I had read his will after he died, and yes, this was indeed the case. As his investment advisor, on several occasions, I gently nudged him to have his wife’s name on his investment account while he was alive. That would make it easy to transfer it to her upon his death.
By not having her jointly on his investments, he would have to pay capital gains tax before she got it. He flatly refused. I never thought it was never his intention for her not to get a cent of his money! Even if it meant saving on taxes.
Financial Abuse of The Worse Kind
As for his pensions, he had arranged that his pension would last as long as he lived without spousal provisions after his death. Employers give you the option to choose how your pensions are to be paid out.
Most married employees elect to have their pensions continue to pay their spouse after they die — it just means they get a smaller pension upfront than if they elect to have their pensions pay only till they die without continuing beyond that.
And because this newly widowed woman had spent a large part of her adult life at home raising her three children, she did not have a consistent work history which meant she hardly paid into a pension at all.