A third of women (33%) would not be able to cope financially if their relationship ended tomorrow, research by Fidelity International has found.
The survey, which polled 2,000 individuals, found two-fifths (42%) of women aged between 55 and 64 years old were most likely to be financially vulnerable in the event of a relationship breakdown.
Likewise, around two-fifths of women aged between 35 and 54 years old admitted they would be financially unstable. In total, a third (33%) of women across all age groups who responded to Fidelity's survey said they would not be financial stable in the event of a break-up.
In comparison, one fifth (19%) of men felt they would not be able to support themselves financially in the event of a relationship breakdown.
Fidelity said that, on top of typically earning less and therefore saving less, women tend to take more time off work than men, which ultimately results in less time to pay into a workplace pension.
Despite this, around one in 10 (12%) women said they find it difficult to discuss their household's spending with their partner, while the same number also struggled to discuss savings and investments.
Fidelity International associate director Emma-Lou Montgomery said it was "frightening" how many women could not cope if their relationship ended: "With more couples cohabiting for longer before marriage or not getting married at all this is even more important. There is no legal obligation for unmarried couples to split up assets in the event of a break-up like there is during divorce proceedings."
She continued: "While you may have joint accounts for big savings goals, such as buying a house, there's no reason why you shouldn't have your own individual account too, so you can put money away for your future. Small amounts can make a big difference."
Tool used in place of triage