Study reveals women confident about handling their own finances  

Freeman Staff

Nov. 13, 2014

MILWAUKEE - A new study released Wednesday found an overwhelming majority of women in Wisconsin saying they are confident handling their finances if something were to happen to their spouse.

BMO Private Bank examined the financial confidence level of women in the state. 70 percent of respondents said they are confident they could maintain their current financial lifestyle in the event of divorce or the death or  incapacitation of their spouse.

The study found 88 percent of women already manage their household finances or share the responsibility equally with their spouse, but only 43 percent believe their finances “would be fine” if they were to be single in retirement.

“It’s encouraging to see that so many women in Wisconsin are confident in their ability to independently manage their finances if something unexpected were to occur,” said Allison Smith, BMO’s regional director of operations. “Women in Wisconsin, and across the country, are controlling an increasing amount of wealth and are feeling more and more empowered with taking control of their money.”

The study also revealed many women in Wisconsin do not have key estate planning documents in place.

Fifty-seven percent of women do not have a will in the state, while 65 percent don’t have a living will and 60 percent don’t have power of attorney.

“Estate planning is an important component of your overall financial plan, regardless of your gender,” BMO National Head of Banking Mary Jo Herseth said. “Having a power of attorney and will in place can save family and loved ones a significant amount of stress and complication.”