Are Widows and Their Money Soon Parted?

Most of us know by now that money doesn’t bring happiness but the truth is that the lack of money can bring plenty of pain.

I’m not talking about money to buy a fancy car or a vacation home or taking a trip to Hawaii. I’m talking about having the freedom to make decisions that will give you a good quality of life. If you’re living without financial reserves you can’t control life when the unexpected happens.

Here are a couple of interesting facts:

80% of widows now living in poverty were not poor before their husbands died.

The average age for a woman to be widowed in the US is age 55 as per US Bureaus of Census 2000

When your husband dies your life goes from secure to chaos and a lack of funds will change your future. You may have to make decisions about downsizing, going back to work, investments and much more.

Don’t let anyone rush you into making decisions you are not sure of. Your mind isn’t thinking clearly for investment decisions so you should have a professional go to the meetings with you. There will be all kinds of well-meaning people with advice on what you should do with that insurance money, but dig in and learn as much as possible before you pass your life over to someone else.

As a widow we didn’t plan to be here and we wish we weren’t. But we need to take charge of our finances or we will be in big trouble down the road. Don’t take for granted that it will all work out on its own and most importantly don’t depend on others without first taking the time to check it out for yourself.

2 Responses

  1. Janice B Berry
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    The above is so true. Before my husband died we were going to get Life insurance but kept putting it off and I thought he had policy with his retirement that would be sufficient. We traveled to different spots in our brand new RV and we had remodeled a house we bought sight unseen and paid cash. Then my husband passed away. I found that Life Insurance policy was less than $10,000. I had never nor did I ever want to drive our RV and so I could not afford it. We put $10,000 down and the payments were $900.00 per month We had only had it 2 years so I called the company up to get the payoff and when they said $122K I told them to come get it. They then sold it at auction for $76K and sent me a letter demanding I pay the balance of $47K. I could not pay that so I filed bankruptcy. I just cried and cried it was so humiliating! We also owned a 4 bedroom 2 bath lake house on 2 acres in Kentucky. At the time of my husbands death we had renters in it. And they moved shortly because of their job and I could not afford that mortgage. I wanted to sell my house that where we were living, in Nevada, because I did not have anyone no friends where we lived. I went to the same realty company that sold us the house only I got the owner and looking back he was like a shark. Because I tried to tell him what I wanted and felt I could get he got offensive. If I would have had someone who would have helped me with the process I would have had a little more than what I got. Those people that bought that house stole it! We had invested $118K in the remodel inside and outside, complete with a swim/spa. It was beautiful! So I moved to California to be near my family and I am living on less than half of what we used to have. Because we had a Reverse Mortgage on our Nevada home that had to be paid off when the house was sold, so there wasn’t much left in my budget to buy another home so I bought a manufactured/mobile home. I was able to remodel a bit but my budget is tight. So I now have Life Insurance on me for all of my sons, and it is all in order. There won’t be any surprises for them. This is my favorite saying I made up myself:
    “Hindsight is a Beautiful View” by JBerry

  2. Mary Francis
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    I’m so sorry Janice that it all worked out that way after all your years of work. It is a cruel world out there when we find ourselves on our own. Thank you for sharing your story with others as that it shows how easy our finances can get off track. Take care of yourself, Mary Francis

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