More baby boomer wives are better prepared for widowhood when they have run the family finances, says a study by the Women’s Institute for a Secure Retirement released Friday.

When they had primary responsibility for financial planning, nearly a quarter of baby boomer widows had no loss of household income after their husband’s death, the study said, but when the husband took the lead for savings and investments, only a negligible number of women maintained their income after their husband’s death.

At the same time, only 4 percent of baby boomer widows have had to move to less expensive housing after their husband died when they were the family investment manager. That compares with 26 percent of their peers who had to downsize their living accommodations upon widowhood when the husband was the main caretaker of bank and brokerage accounts.

For many boomer widows, navigating a path to financial stability was still a challenge even when they had sufficient money. According to the study, 35 percent had at least some difficulty in determining if they were eligible for their spouse’s pension benefits and applying for them, while 30 percent had the same difficulties with IRAs and 24 percent with annuities.

More than a third of women with savings and investments from $100,000 to $250,000 did not have an emergency fund set aside before the death of her spouse. For widows with between $250,000 to $500,000, the percentage dropped to 16 percent.

The survey was of 246 recent widows ages 70 and under with assets from $50,000 to $1 million. They were polled from September 30 to October 8.

In the mix, 30 percent of the women said they had had primary responsibility for financial planning before the death of the spouse, 13 percent said their husbands did and for 58 percent, the responsibility was shared.