Most widows are unprepared for the financial difficulties resulting from the loss a spouse, according to new research.
New York Life discloses this finding in a survey examining the repercussions of the loss of a spouse on 897 widows and widowers who were within 10 years of their loss. The survey explores how the loss impacts daily life both financially and emotionally, focusing on how the surviving spouse’s financial security may have changed. The survey also details the impact that life insurance has on respondents’ lives.
The survey observes that 68 percent of widows reported “significant life changes” — including “years of undue hardship” following the death of their spouse. The result is a much heightened focus on financial concerns.
“The news is unsettling: women are not prepared for the loss of a spouse and the problems are financial and much more,” says Chris Blunt, co-president of the Insurance and Agency Group, New York Life.
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Forty percent of widows polled reported negative lifestyle changes the year following the loss, compared to 24 percent of widowers. The financial impact was even greater: two-thirds of widows experienced a significant financial change compared to half of widowers.