Women Saving Up for Divorce

Not sure what to make of this one. A survey in Australia indicates that women are three times more likely than men to save up for their divorce. Here’s an article about it from the Melbourne Age and another from the Sydney Morning Herald. When the researchers asked which “life milestones” they were saving for, three percent of women (and one percent of men) answered divorce.

What does this mean? Off the top of my head, I can think of three ways of interpreting it:

  1. It’s too small a sample and therefore means nothing.
  2. It’s from Australia and therefore means nothing outside Australia.
  3. It’s real, Australia is fairly typical of the developed world, and it deserves our careful consideration.

I choose “3.”

So why might women be more likely than men to save for divorce? For starters, we know women initiate divorce more than men. In Australia in 2004, women filed 57% of the divorces and men filed 43%. In the U.S., the last time I checked, it was more like 62% and 38%, respectively.

You might also guess that men have more access to credit and savings than women and therefore find the financial cost of divorce to be less of a deterrent.

Perhaps women are more risk averse than men and are therefore more likely to save for divorce rather than using credit to cover the cost.

My final guess is that women are more careful and deliberate about their life choices than men and are therefore more likely to “force” themselves to save for divorce as a way of slowing themselves down to make sure they’re making the right decision.

And I be missing something. Maybe it’s just because their toilets flush backwards.