August 13, 2009

Survey: Life crises affect women more

Women tend to bear the brunt, both financially and emotionally, for divorce, death of spouse, serious illness or disability, a U.S. survey indicates.

A nationwide survey by AARP Financial Inc. indicates 65 percent of women age 40-79 surveyed had already experienced a major life crisis.

No one escapes the financial implications of a life crisis, but they are particularly acute for women, Richard Mac Hisey, president of AARP Financial Inc. says in a statement.

The demographic considerations are obvious: women outlive men, so they experience more life crises and deal with the consequences longer. But women also tend to be the caregivers. That means women are frequently dealing with the human and logistical consequences of a life crisis.

The survey indicates dealing with emotions during times of life crisis is a bigger challenge for women. Three out of five of the women surveyed say it was hard to keep their emotions in check during a major life event vs. 46 percent of men, and 44 percent say they had trouble staying focused.

The telephone survey of 600 men and 600 women, conducted Oct. 9-Nov. 8, 2008, by the Boston Research Group, has a margin of error of plus-minus 2.8-4 percentage points.