Anderson has been dealing with the financial fallout of
her husbandís death.
a mess," said Anderson, of Dallas, whose husband
died in a plane crash in September. "We were on the
verge of opening a business. It was my husbandís
business. Now that has to be shut down. Itís having to
be sold or liquidated. I have no source of income."
also has to sell her home, whose remodeling is near
had a fire in our house last year, so weíre on the
very tail end of remodeling it, so I canít even put it
up for sale yet," Anderson said.
the homeís sale is critical, "so I can sock away
a couple yearsí worth of income and figure out what I
want to do with my life," Anderson said.
situation is similar to what many widows and widowers go
through financially, according to a study by New York
Life insurance company.
are disproportionately affected because of their longer
the loss of their spouse, 68 percent of widows reported
significant life changes, with financial concerns rising
to the top of the list. The burden of these changes
amounted to years of undue hardship after the loss,
according to New York Life.
news is unsettling," said Chris Blunt, co-president
of the Insurance and Agency Group, New York Life.
"Women are not prepared for the loss of a spouse
and the problems are financial and much more."
survey examined the repercussions of the loss of a
spouse on 897 widows and widowers who were within 10
years of their loss.
focused on how the loss affected daily life from both a
financial and emotional perspective, zeroing in on
financial security after the loss and how it may have
changed as a result.
was life insurance, but Iíve been told itís not
enough," Anderson said. "The first couple of
weeks, we were liquidating cars and things because I was
locked out of his bank accounts because we didnít plan
well. I didnít plan for him to die."
had to sell a car to pay for her husbandís funeral.
main thing was immediate income, immediate funds,"
said Anderson, a stay-at-home mom.
with the financial impact of widowhood can be daunting,
said Rick Salmeron, a Dallas certified financial planner
and Andersonís financial adviser.
of the decisions that were made together now rest on the
widowís shoulders alone," he said. "These
decisions can add to an already overwhelming state of
mind. It can be worse if the surviving spouse didnít
deal with the finances whatsoever."
common stress is locating where all things financial
grief caused her to forget the password to her husbandís
a master list and know how to get into it,"
Anderson said. "I knew the code (the password) to
his computer, but in my grief I couldnít remember it.
Grief does funny things to you, and I didnít realize
bread-and-butter questions confronting widows:
are the bank statements? How do I gain access to our
are the life insurance policies?
credit card balances are remaining?
need to develop in advance a central location that
contains the ĎKeys To The Kingdom,í" Salmeron
important to not store such "digital assets"
in cyberspace alone.
it written somewhere, not in your brain," Anderson
important, talk about all this with your spouse before
one of you dies.
wished they had discussions about what would happen
financially if one of the couple passed," Blunt
said. "Even though it can be an uncomfortable
discussion, it is one widows wished they had had."