When it comes to a life crisis, women are far more vulnerable than men

August 20, 2009

According to a recent AARP survey, nearly two-thirds of American women age 40 to 79 have experienced long-term job loss, divorce, death of a spouse or a major illness or disability.

When these things happen, women are much more likely than men to take a huge financial hit.  Add to that the fact that women tend to live longer and carry more of the emotional burden in relationships and in a crisis, and we are talking major life stress!

“No one escapes the financial implications of a life crisis, but they are particularly acute for women,” said Richard “Mac” Hisey, President of AARP Financial Inc.

“The demographic considerations are obvious: women outlive men, so they experience more life crises and deal with the consequences longer. But women also tend to be the caregivers. That means women are frequently dealing with the human and logistical consequences of a life crisis, leaving little time and energy for the financial considerations.”

In this particular survey, 65% of women ages 40 to 79 had experienced a major life crisis that significantly impacted their finances.  Survey data revealed that dealing with emotions during times of life crisis is a particular challenge for women.

Three out of five of the women surveyed said that it was hard to keep their emotions in check during a major life event (vs. 46% of men). More than four in ten women (44%) said they had trouble staying focused.

“Life crises are the perfect storms of personal finance — where the need for consequential and frequently urgent financial decisions meets an emotional hurricane,” Hisey said. “This is a critical issue for women.  The vast majority of women will be solely responsible for their finances one day, frequently assuming that responsibility at a time of tremendous personal duress.”

I think they make a very good point with this survey:  “Let’s face it — it’s hard enough to contemplate some of these scenarios, let alone plan for them,”   Hisey said   “At the same time, the reality is this:   sooner or later, you’re going to experience a life crisis.”

That is exactly the point of this blog!  Accept the fact that anything can happen to anyone of us at any time!   I speak from experience!  I lost most of my income when I divorced in 2001.  Then I lost my job two years later.  Make a disaster plan and be sure to put away some savings for the day you hope never arrives!

See why I call myself the Queen of Crisis?