Back in the late 1960s, researchers at the University of Washington (UW) reviewed the psychiatric and medical records of several thousand patients in hopes of being able to narrow in the types of life events that caused them the most stress. Similar studies have been conducted with similar results. An increased focus on financial concerns has emerged, though.
As part of the 1967 UW study, researchers assigned numerical values from one to 100 to patient concerns. Once they tallied up the results, they found that a patient’s fear that their spouse would die received a 100 score, which was the most concerning. Divorce came in second at 73 and marital separation was third. Imprisonment came in fourth at 63.
More recent studies that have been carried out show that patient’s fears haven’t shifted that much. An analysis performed by researchers at the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) shows that divorce with a score of 71, now ranks sixth on the list.
Researchers found that both divorce and the death of a spouse most concerned patients because they feared not being able to make things work financially on their own after their husband or wife was no longer in the picture.
What seemed to resonate most in the records that the researchers reviewed was how concerned patients were about how their tax rate would nearly double if they filed as a single individual as opposed to jointly with their spouse.
They also were concerned about how much Social Security would be withheld from them to pay for their Medicare benefits. Some remarked that they had heard that they may have six times the amount that was being taken out while they were married withheld once they divorced.
Many also expressed concern over their spouse having long-handled all their financial affairs, having no idea what typical expenses were and whether they had the means to cover them.
If you’re faced with an impending divorce, especially if you’ve been married a long time and your ex has long been managing your household’s finances, then it’s likely that you’re experiencing a lot of anxiety about the future. An experienced Fort Myers divorce attorney can help walk through your everyday life to see where your expenses lie and then help you negotiate an agreement with your ex so that you can afford your expenses.