A women's life can go from secure to chaos and is unmatched for its emptiness and profound sadness when she losses a loved one. A widow can go from living a comfortable life to living in poverty after her spouse dies.
Money will be an important factor as lack of funds will change your future. Some interesting facts are:
32% of women over the age of 55 are widowed.
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 Bureau of Census year 2000.
According to the National Health Assoc. 700,000 women become widows each year and will be widowed for average of 14 years.
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Widowed – When there were two incomes coming into the house I didn't really plan for my once a year insurance and finance expenses. Now there is only my income and I have to accept that financial change. If I continue to live without a plan I will not have any savings when things go wrong with the house or car. Trouble is – I hate budgeting my money. It makes me think about where it’s going and sometimes I would rather not know. That’s my inner child coming out:-) OK, so I know better and I will start by writing out all my expenses, even the yearly ones (I will divide them by 12) and get my monthly cost of living down on paper. Once I know my true monthly expenses I will see how the income compares. I guess that is part of being responsible for myself but I do miss having someone to share the blame with. Being a widow is such a change of lifestyle in every way: financial, social and mental. From Mary's Blog posting 2010
Here is a link to a blog I did on Long Term Care about insurances (LTC) for care as we age. http://sisterhoodofwidows.com/2013/05/18/long-term-care/
Be careful about telling anyone you have this money. If anyone asks if you’ll be OK, say “Yes”. That’s all they need to know and this will save you from people who are looking to borrow a little cash.
Most insurance companies will automatically establish a money market checking account for you, using your insurance funding. You will get a little interest so it’s best to leave it there until you get some a chance to learn more about money management.
Once you’re feeling better, get in touch with a certified financial planner, a CFP. They will be able to give you good advice on how to manage your insurance settlement so that it will work for you going forward. If you have any doubts, meet with another planner – you need to be comfortable with their recommendations and decisions.
You need to educate yourself and demand careful explanations with fast follow-ups. This is your life – prepare yourself intellectually and emotionally to take charge of your future. Don’t assume others have your back, 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 things out.