Over 80 percent of women have at one time or another lived in non-traditional family households that have placed greater pressure on them to achieve financial independence, according to a new survey.
More women are single parents, living unmarried with partners or leading other types of non-traditional family lives, according to the survey by Allianz Life Insurance.
Of the over 2,000 women that participated, only 39 percent were married. The survey found that:
• Twenty-seven percent of married women have been divorced.
• Of the partnered women, 33 percent are in a same-sex couple.
• Forty-two percent of divorced women never remarried or partnered.
• Twenty-one percent of women with children have adult kids living at home. That percentage rises to 36% among widows.
“New social structures are increasingly placing women in roles where they need to take control of not only their own financial security, but also that of their family,” said Katie Libbe, vice president of Consumer Insights for Allianz Life. “We found women that are part of the new modern family are feeling a great deal of pressure to be more engaged with financial planning.”
Only 38 percent of women in the survey said they work with a financial professional. Widowed women , at 51 percent, were the most likely to use an advisor, followed by divorced women at 42 percent, women in same-sex relationships at 42 percent and single moms at only 33 percent.
Single moms who have never been married felt the greatest pressure to be financial aware, with 92 percent saying their family situation “creates a whole new level of need to be financially aware and independent.” Unfortunately, 52% said that between raising kids and working, they “feel too busy to handle financial planning.”
For same-sex couples, 80 percent said that their relationship “creates a whole new level of need to be financially aware and independent,” with only 19 percent believing their situation allows them to “put off any serious thinking about financial planning,” the lowest response among relationship status categories.
The study found that divorce remains a major factor in how women view money. Forty-eight percent of divorced respondents said that divorce plunged them into a financial crisis. In addition, 64 percent noted that divorce made them realize how important it is to always be financially aware and independent.
Widows had an even stronger version of the same story, with 50 percent of widowed respondents saying that becoming a widow created a financial crisis for them and 84 percent saying becoming a widow has made them realize how important it is to be financially aware and independent.
When asked if they have a secret stash of money, same-sex couples had less to hide. Only 8% of same-sex respondents said they had money squirreled away, compared to 16 percent for married couples and 19 percent for partnered respondents.
The study was conducted by Larson Research + Strategy in December 2012. The firm surveyed more than 2,000 women, ages 25-75, with household income of $30,000 per year or higher.