When you think about finance, do the words ‘complicated’ and ‘not my job’ come up for you? Does your husband take care of money matters? What would that mean for you if the subject of divorce arose?
Whether or not divorce is on the cards, my guest today, says that “We can’t assume someone is going to look after us. We need to do it ourselves.”
Mary Waring has over 30 years of experience in the financial sector, and provides an exclusive, bespoke and discreet financial concierge service to women before, during and after divorce.
In this episode, Mary talks about the importance of engaging in your finances, the power of money to give you choices, and what divorce means for your money.
- [02.13] Mary talks about how her own personal history led to her passion for supporting the financial independence of women. She recognised from an early age that money gives you choices.
- [05.23] Some of the reasons that she believes women struggle with finances.
- [09.06] The underlying message of Mary’s book ‘The Wealthy Woman: A Man is Not a Financial Plan: A Woman’s Guide to Achieving Financial Security’ is that you have to take care of your own finances because you are the one who is going to be impacted the most by it. The discussion moves to being jointly accountable, as well as the importance of talking about money as a couple.
- [14.52] Advice for women who have started to seriously consider approaching their husbands for a divorce.
- [21.13] What you need to know once divorce proceedings have begun.
- [29.34] Once the settlement is sorted, what you need to know going forward.
Many women have a mental block about finance, and so bury their heads in the sand. Money complicates divorce, but knowing where you stand creates certainty, and a clear view of the future and your choices.
Learn more about Mary Waring
Sign up to Mary’s website for ‘7 mistakes women make when going through divorce’, as well as other information and financial help for women going through divorce. You can also buy a copy of her book! ‘The Wealthy Woman: A Man is Not a Financial Plan: A Woman’s Guide to Achieving Financial Security’
Alternatively, head over to www.marywaring.co.uk for an exclusive, bespoke and discreet financial concierge service to women before, during and after divorce.
Join us for the FREE 6 Day Money Sprint!
If you want to kick start your pathway to financial freedom, sign up for our FREE 6 Day Money Sprint
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- Divorce and money
- Getting through divorce with Linda Schoonover
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- Talking to your partner about money with Dr Abby Medcalf
- Surviving life’s big changes that are thrust on us
Quotes from this episode
- “I’m not going to say money makes you happy, because it doesn’t necessarily. But it does give you choices. It gives you choices that you might not have otherwise.” – Mary Waring
- “A lot of females are just switching off at such an early age because they’re just not connecting with the whole money and figures issue. And then as time goes on, it then becomes this terrible limiting belief ‘oh, I can’t do money’.” – Mary Waring
- “Women are not connecting with finance, but actually I don’t think it’s women’s fault. I think it’s school and financial services industry that are perpetuating this problem.” – Mary Waring
- “We can’t assume someone else is going to look after us. We need to do it ourselves.” – Mary Waring
- “A lot of what I see when people get to retirement is this immense shame in the husband. Because she had the job of raising the kids and he had the job of providing the money, but they get to retirement and there’s not enough money.” – Lisa Linfield
- “There is so much emotion around money, and that’s what causes all these issues.” – Mary Waring
- “At the end of the day you can only split what’s in the pot.” – Mary Waring
Speaker 1: 00:00 Welcome to Working Women’s Wealth where we discuss what it takes to build real wealth in a way normal humans can understand. Here’s your host, Lisa Linfield.
Lisa Linfield: 00:21 Hello everybody, and welcome to today’s episode of Working Women’s Wealth. Before we get onto my amazing guest, Mary Waring, I wanted to tell you a little bit about the 6 Day Money Sprint. I’m hosting all of you for free for six days to kickstart your money year. I’m wanting to make sure that each of us has a great base on which to start. Why? Because our freedom, our financial freedom, our life freedom, the goals that we want to achieve are all underpinned by having the money to be able to do it. So join me for six days to get a baseline that’ll help you to get your money under control. Sign up for free at 6daysprint.com. That’s 6, the letter 6, 6daysprint.com, and join us for this amazing adventure to start your money freedom.
Lisa Linfield: 01:20 I am joined by Mary Waring and she has over 30 years of experience in the financial sector and provides an exclusive bespoke and very discreet financial concierge service to women before, during, and after a divorce. She’s an award-winning financial advisor in the UK, she’s a chartered accountant and she’s a chartered financial planner. So she truly knows what she’s talking about. She is also qualified and experienced coach.
Lisa Linfield: 02:06 Hello Mary and welcome to our show.
Mary Waring: 02:08 Lisa, hello to you. Thank you so much.
Lisa Linfield: 02:12 So Mary you’ve been doing this for 50 years. That is not a job, that is a passion. And where does your passion for supporting the financial independence of women come from?
Mary Waring: 02:23 Well, actually I’m not sure I necessarily planned to go this route, it sort of found me. And then when it found me, I can see why, because when I was at home, my mother was in a very unhappy marriage. My dad had all the money, he had the money, he had everything in his name as was quite common in an earlier generation, but she had nothing. And I saw then, how much power that gave him to have the money. Now she was very unhappy. There were three kids, she could not have left that marriage because she had no money to look after herself. She wasn’t an educated woman, she would never have had a large income. My father, because he was a bully, he liked the power money gave him, would not have paid maintenance without a court order and goodness knows what else and my mom probably wouldn’t have had the money to even go that route.
Mary Waring: 03:22 So I just grew up from such an early age recognizing, and I’m not going to say money makes you happy because it doesn’t necessarily, but it does give you choices. It gives you choices that you might not have otherwise. And initially I thought it was my mother’s generation and actually then I realized from quite early on in my business, a lot of the women coming to me were in exactly that situation.
Mary Waring: 03:55 They were women whose husbands have looked after the finance, so they looked after the children and the home and whatever else. He looked after the money and actually she knew nothing about the money. She didn’t know how much there was, she didn’t know how much it costs to run a house and she was lost. She was totally lost and that’s why I realized that what a good area that was for me to go into because these women don’t need different advice to men, because financial advice is generic, but they need a very different approach.
Mary Waring: 04:35 They need looking after. They are totally overwhelmed. They’ve got a dreadful panic, particularly if it’s a female who isn’t working and whatever she gets in divorce is going to be the only money she’s then going to have, she naturally has this terrible panic about, “Well, have I got enough? And is it going to last them? How much can I spend?” And I realized that this was an area where I could help so much. And of course then I thought back to my childhood experience and actually what an amazing connection. So although I didn’t necessarily from day one plan to go this route as soon as I ended up with my clients, it just seems such a natural place for me to be.
Lisa Linfield: 05:24 In your experience, why do women struggle with finance or do they just not do it in the first place and leave it up to their husband?
Mary Waring: 05:33 Well, this is a total hobbyhorse of mine, I’ve got such an issue about it that I have met so many really bright, savvy, intellectual women, and they’ve got a total mental block about finance. Now I can only imagine there is something happening at school, I think it starts at school and I’m not absolutely sure what it is, it might be the way we’re taught maths. Of course there isn’t really particularly a connection with what you learn in your maths class and looking after money, but I think what’s happening is a lot of females adjust switching off at such an early age because they’re just not connecting with the whole money and figures issue that as time goes on, it then becomes this terrible limiting belief about, “Oh, I can’t do money.”
Mary Waring: 06:33 So there’s something happening at an early age, I think, whereby women are sticking their head in the sand and somehow feeling that it’s really complicated, they can’t do it. And certainly in the UK, very few advisors are female. It’s only something like 10% of advisors are female. So again, there’s nothing to say that a male advisor can’t do a fantastic job for you, but if you’re feeling a little bit vulnerable, you’re a little bit embarrassed that you don’t understand the money and you want to come and have someone look after you, it may be that you’re going to be more comfortable with a female.
Mary Waring: 07:18 And of course if you can’t find one, well then again maybe that’s stopping females or deterring females from going to do something, but of course, again, it comes down to financial services industry. We have so much jargon. Again, that encourages people to think it’s complicated but actually what people want to understand is, if I save this amount of money every month, what sort of amount might I end up with when I’m 60, 65, whatever age it is? That’s what they want to understand. They don’t need to know the ins and outs of everything.
Mary Waring: 07:58 So I think as an industry we’re not helping the situation because there’s so much jargon. Again, women just disconnected from it. So yeah, women are not connecting with finance, but actually I don’t think it’s women’s fault, I think it’s school and it’s financial services industry that are perpetuating this problem.
Lisa Linfield: 08:23 And also I guess a whole bunch of people growing up watching their dads look after the money and their moms not. So your assumption I guess at a deep subconscious level is, when I get there, someone else will manage the money. I don’t need to.
Mary Waring: 08:38 Exactly. If that’s the pattern you’re seeing, like you say, probably subconsciously you are accepting as the norm that it’s the man’s role to look after money. So it’s just a never ending circle, isn’t it? So at some point, we do have to stop this otherwise for generations to come, we’re always going to have this issue that women thinking finance is complicated or it’s not their job to do it.
Lisa Linfield: 09:08 Yeah. So is that what spurred you to write your book, The Wealthy Woman: A Man is Not a Financial Plan?
Mary Waring: 09:15 Yeah, definitely. It’s very tongue-in-cheek title. It’s meant to make you snicker a little bit, but of course the underlying message is serious, which is, we all have to take care of our own finances because we’re the ones who can be impacted the most by it. So if we don’t take enough interest, you can’t expect someone else to. And I guess I don’t know whether the youngsters these days still grow up with a fairy tale about like a man comes along, the Knight in shining armor on his horse and rescues you, but of course, what if he’s poor? You can’t expect he’s going to come along and he’s going to have so much money. He can look after you, actually, he might come along and you have this marvelous love story going on, but he hasn’t got much money later. So we can’t assume someone else is going to look after us, we need to do it ourselves.
Lisa Linfield: 10:16 And also, we need to be jointly accountable for it because a lot of what I see when people get to retirement is this immense shame in the husband because she had the job of raising the kids and he had the job of providing the money, but they get to retirement and there’s not enough lift. And in his 50s he started to kind of see there’s not going to be enough at the end, but doesn’t know how to quite say, “Actually, I know we kind of had this implicit agreement, but you need to help up.” Whereas if you were co-managing the money, you would both know early on that there wasn’t going to be enough and then you can jointly provide a solution for it.
Lisa Linfield: 10:59 But so often it’s kind of this big surprise to everybody because he just never knew how to ever raise the fact that they were never going to get to the finish line with enough.
Mary Waring: 11:08 And now isn’t that terrible? I’ve had that situation as well where the wife has said, “Oh, it’s okay, my husband’s got a pension.” But actually when you look at the pension, there’s not enough in there for one, let alone for the two, and they’ve never had that discussion. She is assuming there’s enough money, he, well, maybe he knows, maybe he doesn’t know, but if he knows, he’s not told her that.
Mary Waring: 11:34 I say to women as well, a lot of them say, “We’re not getting divorced,” but of course what you’ve also got to consider is, what happens, and let’s assume it’s the husband looking after the money and he’s the manana, what happens if he gets ill and he has a stroke or a heart attack or goodness knows what else, it’s no good if you don’t know where the money is and how much there is.
Mary Waring: 11:58 So I always encourage all women, and again we’re assuming it’s the husband who is looking after the money, sit down as a couple and understand what you’ve got and where it is and do your planning together. For example, if you’re looking after the children and he’s the one actually earning the money, then assume that that’s his job to do because it’s joint money. So you should be planning together and both of you understanding how much there is and whether there’s enough and then it’s not enough, we’ve got to plan. Because again, you wouldn’t want the situation that the wife thinks there’s quite a lot of money because she hasn’t been told otherwise and maybe she’s spending and she’s spending more than she would need to if she realized she should be cutting down. But if no one has told her she needs to cut down and she’s daily spending, well that has a real impact for the financial future. But it’s one of these instances where you do need to sit down and discuss it as a couple.
Lisa Linfield: 13:03 I was coaching a couple the other day and they don’t have enough money and he said, “But I’ve been trying to tell her for the last 10 years to cut down her spending.” And she said, “Well, I just thought he was being a grumpy old man and trying to spoil the fun.” Whereas if they had partnered on it, she would have seen that he was really serious about it and not being grumpy and just more kind of being realistic. But they never ever had a conversation because he felt too much shame.
Mary Waring: 13:28 Now, isn’t that terrible? Isn’t that just awful? And how much pressure has been put on him that he’s worrying about the money and maybe thinking he’s a failure and he’s got to find ways to earn more because they can’t discuss it between them. But for some reason it’s this real taboo, isn’t it? But so often we don’t discuss money and I think there is a whole shame and guilt and goodness knows what else around money. We’ve sometimes got shame. We haven’t got enough, we’ve got shame. Maybe we think we’ve got too much because we’ve got more than others. There is so much emotion around money and that’s what causes all these issues.
Lisa Linfield: 14:13 Yeah. John and I really enjoy managing our money together. It’s something that we enjoy doing in the sense that it helps us to make the decisions together when we need to cut back and neither of us resent the other for that decision. And it helps us to plan for our future, which is a fun and exciting experience, but we always have, and I look at people and I think they’ve been carrying such burdens because even if you’re assuming the husband has got it all under control, what I find is that as you get more and more closer to retirement and your friends start finding out that they don’t have it under control, it starts bringing a worry in your mind because you actually don’t know.
Mary Waring: 14:51 Yeah.
Lisa Linfield: 14:51 So your specialism is supporting women who are going through a divorce?
Mary Waring: 14:56 Yes.
Lisa Linfield: 14:57 What advice would you give women who are starting to seriously consider approaching their husband for a divorce or their husband is starting to kind of raise it as an option? What advice would you give them in terms of their finances or their preparation or their thoughts around this phase before you’re going through divorce?
Mary Waring: 15:19 Well, if you’re at the stage where you’re still getting on, and of course just because you’re thinking about divorce doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be able to talk sensibly to one another, what you should do is both sit down and look at what money is there as a couple. You know, what have you each got in savings and pensions and et cetera. Because a lot of women enter divorce, not understanding at all how much there is, so there’s a terrible fear from day one as to, “Am I going to end up with enough?”
Mary Waring: 15:58 Now if your relationship is so poor that you can’t have that discussion or that’s tricky and it therefore means you have to rely on whatever your husband puts on all his forms and you don’t know yourself until you see that, I’ve had a lot of female clients who say that they know there should be more money being disclosed because they know from their lifestyle and they know that he did have money somewhere but it’s not disclosed, but the problem is you can’t do anything about that.
Mary Waring: 16:34 So you might be quite adamant, there should be more money, but unless you want to employ a forensic accountant and you’d want to be pretty sure there should be more money before you start incurring that cost, you need to rely on what your husband has disclosed. And what you need to sit down and work out is going forward, how much money do you need? You know, each month, each year, you look at your basics. You’ve got to have all your utilities in the house, you need to buy food and et cetera. You want some form of holidays, you might need to cut back, depends on what lifestyle you’ve been leading beforehand, but you actually need to go into the discussions saying, “As a minimum, this is what I need each month.”
Mary Waring: 17:28 Because in terms of finances, you look at what’s in the pot and how can you split it so that in an ideal world, each party has enough money. That’s what you need to determine is how much money do you need? And then your husband’s going to do the same and hopefully those two numbers added together, what you need and what he needs is enough money to cover it. But you actually need to sit down line by line and go through all expense items and work out how much you need going forward.
Mary Waring: 18:06 Now that’s quite tricky for women who’ve never done this exercise, women who maybe have never budgeted because they haven’t needed to budget, but the issue is going forward, you may need to budget a lot more carefully because if you’ve got two adults living in one house together and then you separate and you then have two adults in two different houses, but exactly the same amount of money is coming in, you’ve got more expense. So if you look at it that way, it doesn’t mean that whatever lifestyle you were leading before divorce, there might not be the same amount of money to support that after divorce.
Mary Waring: 18:54 But your starting point, if you’ve got all the figures, is look at exactly what is in the pot now for the two of you and then look at for yourself what you need each month on an ongoing basis. This is hugely tricky for women who don’t feel comfortable with finance, but if you’re not yet at the stage of wanting to do something, by way of going to talk to solicitors, you can do background work now and start thinking about, “Well, how much are we paying for electricity? How much am I spending at the supermarket each week?” And start looking at that now, so at the stage where you do go to talk to solicitors, you’ve done that little bit of background work, which is always going to be really helpful for you.
Lisa Linfield: 19:49 Absolutely, and in the process you’re educating yourself about the money.
Mary Waring: 19:53 Yes, exactly.
Lisa Linfield: 19:55 Because the reality is it doesn’t matter what you would like to happen, you have to engage in the finances. It’s just not something that you can not take ownership of.
Mary Waring: 20:07 Well, you have to, because going forward, this is how you determine what lifestyle you could afford to lead and you have to have done some work so that you realize, well, actually I can afford to spend X amount a month and I know then that I’ve got enough money because otherwise you’re in the situation that probably clients often go to one extreme or the other. They either think, “Well, I haven’t got enough money and I’ve hit such a problem,” and actually they just go out and spend because that’s their way of dealing with the issue, is spending it. Or they cut back so much, but actually they’ve probably got more money than they realize, but they’re so panicked about not having enough money that they’re leading such a poor lifestyle in terms of enjoyment of money, that they’re spending nowhere near enough. If only they instructed a planner so that they can look at what exactly, how much money can I spend?
Lisa Linfield: 21:14 Yeah. So once they have decided to proceed with a divorce, what do people need to know about that?
Mary Waring: 21:21 Well, certainly in the UK, and obviously I’ve got no idea what happens anywhere else in the world, there’s no specific formula as to what if there’s this much money in the pot to individuals and this much… this is how you split it, every single settlement is a bespoke settlement, so it’s bound to your legal team and his legal team to reach an agreement. So it’s quite tricky for you to know at the beginning exactly what you’re going to end up with and it does come down to the negotiation. I mean the term that’s in law is fair and of course fair is a different meaning between one party and the other.
Mary Waring: 22:09 But from a legal point of view, they are looking at what is in the pot and what is the best way to split it so that each party gets a fair settlement. And fair may well mean you end up with a very different lifestyle and the court does not look to penalize any one party because of their behavior within the marriage. And by behavior I’m saying, supposedly one spouse went off and had an affair. And often I speak to women whose husband has had an affair, they’re going through divorce, and she thinks that because he instigated divorce or his behavior instigated divorce, that she will end up with more money as a result, and she won’t at all.
Mary Waring: 23:02 The courts are not looking to a portion blame to anyone, and often she says, “Well, why should I have a different lifestyle? It was his behavior that led us to this.” But the fact is the courts just look very black and white on the numbers and how do we split it so that each person gets a reasonable settlement. And again, no matter what you might think about your husband and his behavior, if there are children, you can’t assume that you’re going to stay living in a nice three bedroom, four bedroomed house, and he can go live in a bedsit. Because he’s going to need enough space for when the children come to spend time with him.
Mary Waring: 23:54 So that’s certainly something women need to bear in mind that you just might not end up with what you think is fair because your definition of fair may be very different to someone else’s, but at the end of the day you can only split what is available in the pot and therefore what if that doesn’t meet the lifestyle you would like or the lifestyle you’ve had up to now, it means you’ve got to make savings. So going forward, things could well be very different to how you would like them.
Lisa Linfield: 24:34 I think it’s such an important concept because like you, I can’t begin to describe how many times people say, “But he’s at fault or she’s at fault,” so therefore they should get nothing kind of thing. And it just doesn’t work that way. And the quicker that we all be okay with it, in actual fact, the better the divorce is. Because one often sees this whole thing of trying to extract revenge through a divorce proceeding and it doesn’t work that way because none of the courts see fault as an item in terms of how you split things, and the quicker you get over that, the better it’s going to be.
Mary Waring: 25:08 Yeah, exactly. And also what I think everyone has to think about, it’s very, very sad if your marriage has ended without a doubt. And of course there’s hurt and all the other emotions related to that, but you also must bear in mind that, if there’s children, and for all our discussions I’m going to talk from the woman’s point of view. She’s typically my client so it’s her that I’m seeing when relationship breaks down. No matter what’s happened, he is your children’s father and you should want your children to have a relationship with him. Whatever’s happened in the marriage and no matter if you think his behavior is poor, your children should want to have a relationship with him.
Mary Waring: 26:00 You should want to have a situation where in due course, if your children get married, you can both go to the wedding and you don’t want one of the children to be panicked about, “Oh, they’re not getting well and I don’t want there to be a bad atmosphere,” you should want the situation where there’s a graduation and both parents get invited, potentially both parents with new partners, and you can all sit around a table. You don’t need to be best friends, but actually you should be able to get on for your children’s sake and for your own because it’s very, very difficult if your marriage breaks down, but actually you don’t want to be carrying around all that negative emotion. It’s not good for you. It’s not good for your health. So I’m not being as blunt as saying, well, just get over it-
Lisa Linfield: 26:55 Yeah, no, I agree with you. And you know also the other thing about it is if you look at it from the kids’ perspective, because one of the challenges is their abilities to integrate these two lives, these two families, through that entire divorce, the number one thing you are modeling to your children is how to deal with conflict, how to deal with pain, how to deal with any of the emotions that you’re feeling. And if you’re modeling terrible behavior, your children will use that terrible behavior as part of their coping mechanism. Why? Because that’s what they’re taught. Children learn from what you do, not what you say.
Lisa Linfield: 27:30 So when you are stuck with a teenager who is behaving more than usually bad, a lot of the thing is what have you taught them through this process? Have you taught them forgiveness? Have you taught them patience and tolerance and all those other things or have you taught them vindictiveness, manipulation, all of that stuff? If you’re telling your children that you are doing one thing but you’re telling your spouse you’re doing another thing, the children learn that what you do is you lie to each other, so when they lie to you, that’s one of the challenges with this whole thing is to try and manage that really awful balance between the pain you are going through and how you would like to behave, the example you’d like to see it.
Mary Waring: 28:12 Absolutely what you say about setting an example, you should be showing your children that even if you’ve had terrible hurt and betrayal and whatever else, you can still be respectful at one another and agree you should be showing them that that’s the way to behave and you should want your children to treat both parents that way as well because I hate it when I see anywhere that the parents are trying to use the children to get back at one another and saying, “Oh well your mother did this,” and then she’s saying, “Well your father did whatever.” You shouldn’t be dragging your children into this at all because your children should want to love both parents and not be taking sides in this.
Lisa Linfield: 29:03 So difficult. So, so, so difficult. I mean, one of the things that I always say to my clients is when it comes to the money, there are two elements to it. That one is, dividing the money past and the other one is sorting the money future. Dividing the money past has one set of criteria and deciding the money future is a completely different thing. Obviously if there are children, there’s often an end date to when that money’s going to go away and when their father stops supporting the maintenance. So what do you like your clients to know in terms of, once the settlement’s sorted and moving forward?
Mary Waring: 29:40 Well, what I always want to do is do a financial plan, which is looking at what money have you got now? What’s likely to be coming in in the future? And like you say, there’s probably child maintenance, there may be spousal maintenance, but again, that could only be for a short time, and look at what are you spending. Because what you want to look at is based on what you’ve got now, what you think is coming in, and what you think is going out. Have you got enough money to last you? And if you haven’t, you need to know now and you need to make plans.
Mary Waring: 30:21 So the obvious plan is if you’re going to run out of cash, you’ll probably need to downsize your house at some point. And I’ve had instances where the female has fought to keep the marital home, and of course if there’s children that’s the least disruptive. It’s like the kids can stay living where they’ve been used to living, where they’re comfortable, they’ve got their friends nearby, they’ve got their school nearby, et cetera, but then you have to look at, if she doesn’t have enough money in 10, 15, 20 years time, she’s going to need to downsize that house.
Mary Waring: 31:03 And like I say, a lot of women may have fought to keep the home, but then she just needs to know that she will need to sell at a point in the future. And what I’ve frequently found is women going through divorce think often that there would be nothing worse than having to sell their family home a year, two years, after divorce, when emotions have settled down, they’re feeling a lot stronger. They then realize that wherever they’re living is going to be their home. So although it’s quite sad to leave their memories behind, they’re fine with it.
Mary Waring: 31:47 And I think the big issue is always uncertainty. So even if you tell someone something they don’t particularly like to hear, or you might tell them, “You can’t afford to keep spending this amount of money on holidays, I know you like holidays, but you’re just going to run out of money if you keep spending at this level, you need to bring it down,” they might not like what they’re hearing, but all of a sudden you’ve given them some level of certainty, which is if you downsize in 10 years time and release this sort of amount of money, or if you cut back on holidays and instead of spending X, you spend Y, based on everything that we’re looking at at the minute that looks as though your money’s going to last. That actually makes some happier.
Mary Waring: 32:38 So it’s this funny situation that they’re unhappy, that you’ve told them they can’t have what they want, but then you say to them that, “Look, if you do this instead, your money should last.” You’ve given them the certainty and that is what they need and they can then start planning. They can then think, “Okay, I really don’t want to move from my house now, but I recognize I’m going to need to in 10 years time. So I’ve got a 10 year plan as to what I’m going to do within that 10 years. I’m sure that children will have left home, they’ll be financially independent, and actually I just need to accept, I will be in a smaller house,” and it’s just giving them something to work with. I find that that’s really, really helpful.
Lisa Linfield: 33:25 And I totally agree with you. You know, I think the most important thing that people can ever do is to see someone who can give them a very clear view of the future and the choices. Because the problem about money is time and the earlier you can make some of those choices, the greater the impact can be on your long-term financial welfare. And one of my heartbreaking things is through a lot of divorces, so many women “give up too soon.” They either don’t fight for what they should have or they just don’t seem to have the emotional capacity to stand for one thing longer. And whilst I totally understand it, if you at least go and see someone that can help you understand the parameters, it does give you much more certainty and does enable you to almost breathe out in terms of kind of knowing what your parameters are.
Lisa Linfield: 34:23 So whilst it seems like I can’t possibly engage in one more financial discussion, the plan that you made before your divorce as to how much money you need and what you’re actually going to get afterwards might be completely different and those small changes can make a significant difference on your financial wellbeing.
Mary Waring: 34:40 Oh totally. And I agree with you. I speak to a lot of women who, because of all the emotion going on, they want it over and done with as quickly as possible. They often say, “Well actually I’m just to accept what’s on offer.” And it’s maybe not what their solicitors suggested they should be striving for, but she wants it over and done with. She’s had enough of all the discussion. But actually what I will often say to her is, what you need to think about is this isn’t just money for you, this is money for your future and your children’s future. So what you want to think about is how you’re going to feel in 10 years time if your ex-husband is taking your children away for smart holidays, depending on the age of your children, maybe there’s grandchildren around at that stage, and you can’t afford to do that.
Mary Waring: 35:39 Well, potentially, you’re then going to regret that you didn’t fight more because money on its own has no meaning, it’s not about money, it’s about lifestyle. And I would suggest there is nothing worse than seeing your ex-husband having a totally different lifestyle with your children and grandchildren than you can afford to give them. And if that has a reason because you decided at an early stage, “Actually I’ve had enough, I really need this to be over,” you might just regret that.
Mary Waring: 36:21 And that’s what I say to women, “Go away and have a think about this as to, do you really want to accept this number that’s been suggested? Because this number really limits how much spending you’ll have in the future and a couple of years down the line when emotionally you’re feeling a lot stronger, you might just regret making that decision now.”
Mary Waring: 36:46 But it’s like you say, Lisa, you need to understand what this money means for you and what difference it makes. And it could make all the difference in the world, it could make the difference of you could afford to take your children on a really nice holiday every year if you had extra money, if you don’t have the money, you can’t afford to take your children away at all. And how is that going to make you feel, two years down the line, when emotionally you’re in a very different place?
Lisa Linfield: 37:19 Yeah, you’re so correct. Divorce is so hard and the money stuff is such an added terrible layer because at the end of the day it expresses so much and it expresses your future, it expresses your past, it expresses so much that just really does complicate the whole process of divorce and other feelings of betrayal or anything else that you could be going through, but it is something that you need to find the energy to fight for. It’s something that you need to find the energy to make sure that you are sorted and that your children are sorted because otherwise down the track you could find out that now your children have to look after you in your old age because you didn’t sort this thing out.
Mary Waring: 38:00 Yeah. And that would just be terrible.
Lisa Linfield: 38:02 So Mary, how do people get hold of you and how do they learn more about the work that you’re doing and how to survive divorce and everything else that you are so graciously teaching everyone about?
Mary Waring: 38:13 Well, my website is wealthforwomen.biz, and for is F-O-R, so wealthforwomen.biz. There is a video series, sign up on that, which is called Seven Mistakes Women Make When Getting Divorced And How To Avoid Them. Now it is relevant to the UK market, so there was some issues in that, particularly about the legal process, which I don’t know whether it’s relevant elsewhere. It’ll give you an idea as to what you should be looking at if you want to get divorced. It’s a free sign up series. So I would say have a look on there, have a listen to it, and hopefully get a lot of information. And there’s also an awful lot of information in the blogs there. So if there’s something specific, come in and have a look, and hopefully you can find it there.
Mary Waring: 39:12 My book which is on Amazon, and there’s a link on the website, will also give you basic financial planning information. It will show you how you start working out, what you’ve got now, how you make plans as to what you might need in the future. So again, for someone who’s a little bit unsure about the finances, it’s got the nuts and bolts and the steps to follow, so again, hopefully you’ll feel a lot more confident if you’re about to enter divorce, you’ll feel more confident about the finances and what it means and how to understand it.
Lisa Linfield: 39:51 That’s great. Thank you so much. So for everyone else, go to wealthforwomen.biz, and thank you, Mary, for joining us. I really appreciate you sharing your wisdom.
Mary Waring: 40:01 You’re very welcome. Thank you for inviting me, Lisa.
Lisa Linfield: 40:04 That was Mary Waring, and I am just passionate about the work she’s doing to support women in their financial journey. Now, if you want to get control of your financial journey, as I said in the beginning, I’m going to be hosting the 6 Day Money Sprint, because I believe that each one of us need some little bit of extra help and support to get on our journey. And the first place we need to get on our journey with our money is to make sure we know what we have.
Lisa Linfield: 40:34 So join me for the 6 Day Money Sprint on the 3rd of February, Monday the 3rd of February, we will start, but sign up at 6daysprint.com. That’s the number 6, 6daysprint.com, and we will all take this journey together.
Lisa Linfield: 40:52 I’m Lisa Linfield and this is Working Women’s Wealth. Take care and have a great week.