Women are living an average of 5 years longer than men, but statistics show that many women are not fully prepared for the financial adjustment that takes place when a spouse dies. An article in Market Watch listed some statistics from a study of 2,000 married adults that highlight this issue:
- 49% of women say their ability to make mortgage payments, save for college tuition and pay bills would be adversely affected by the death of their spouse. Only 37% of men reported the same.
- 43% of women surveyed were unfamiliar with the terms of their spouse’s insurance policy, as compared to just 31% percent of men.
- Women are also less likely to find family financial documents in an emergency, with 32% of women being unable to locate these documents compared to 21% of men.
Having a plan in place is important regardless of your gender. However, with women living longer than their male counterparts, this is an especially important topic to consider. Even women who earn high salaries on their own will likely be affected financially by the loss of their spouse. Having an open and honest conversation with your spouse regarding estate and financial planning, life insurance policy information, and the location of important documents and information is the first place to start. Consulting a knowledgeable professional, like an elder law and estate planning attorney, can also help you gain valuable professional insight and advice, organize information and put a concrete plan in place so that there are no questions about what will happen in the event your spouse passes.
At Tully Law, P.C., we are dedicated to helping you find solutions to your estate planning and long-term care concerns. Please call (631) 424-2800 for a consultation.