Today’s modern families, which include single parents and same-sex couples, is putting more pressure on women to attain financial independence, according to the 2013 Women, Money Power Study from Allianz Life.
The survey found that 67% of women in today’s modern family, including single, divorced or widowed moms and same-sex couples, say their family situation creates a heightened need to be financially aware and independent. And married women are now the minority group in terms of current relationship status: only 39% of respondents. I find this to be a surprisingly low number.
Pew Research also recently reported that women are the main breadwinners in 40% of American households, due to the fact that so many of them are single parents and because 15% of women now make more than their husbands in households where the median family income is $80,000. That compares with a national median income of only $23,000 for single-mom households. Many mothers have had to get a job since the recession in order to help with financial necessities.
Women still have unmet needs when it comes to achieving comfort and confidence with money. With nearly half of all women saying they sometimes fear becoming a “bag lady,” it’s clear that there is more work to do in educating women about financial matters and building their confidence in their own financial future.
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Divorce and widowhood continue to trigger financial trauma for many American women, a trend that is growing. Nearly half (48%) of divorced respondents in 2013 said divorce threw them into financial crisis, up from 43% in 2006. A full 50% of widows in 2013 said widowhood caused them financial crisis. A simple solution, life insurance, could have prevented some of that trauma for those widowed.
The key point from this research is that women can’t rely on someone else for financial security, and they need to assume personal responsibility for their financial well-being. Be proactive and call your agent or financial advisor to start planning today.