As if losing a spouse wasn’t hard enough, a new New York Life survey says that many widows confront years of undue financial hardship after their husbands die. (Some widowers face similar woes, the study notes, but not nearly as much.)
Richard Eisenberg, a blogger for PBS’s website Next Avenue, shares a few specifics from the November 2014 survey of 897 widows and widowers who were within 10 years of their loss:

  • 39 percent of widows said financial concerns made dealing with the loss of their spouses more difficult (only 19 percent of widowers felt this way)
  • 32 percent of widows said they had less financial security in the first year after their husbands died; just 15 percent of widowers said they were less financially secure after their wives died
  • About a third of widows were no longer able to continue saving for retirement (33 percent) or contribute to their children’s college fund (37 percent) after their husbands died
  • 40 percent of widows said they had a “negative lifestyle change” in the first year after the loss; 24 percent of widowers said they did

To Eisenberg, the painful findings only provide more evidence how essential it is for husbands and their wives to be knowledgeable about their household finances, especially their investments.


Read more about this study at