Many of us fear that our financial security, or what we have of it, could disappear in a moment. Even wealthy people share this fear. It might not be unfounded.
Jay MacDonald from Bankrate writes about bag-lady syndrome, a curious feeling plaguing women.
Women tend to be unprepared and overwhelmed when widowhood or divorce suddenly plops their financial security in their hands. If they’ve long feared they will wind up a bag lady, these transitions can feel like the nightmare is about to play out in real life. As a result, they tend to avoid money, horde money or invest too conservatively to make the money they’ll need later in life.
Women are specifically singled out in this article as being subject to these feelings of dread. Is this sexism? The explanations generalize sex roles, but note the life expectency differences between men and women. On average, women outlive men by seven years; the survivor will have to fend for herself. More explanations:
Women typically depend on the males in their life (father, then husbands) to perform the earning and saving roles, while they typically manage the household and raise the kids, largely a spending role. Women are often left out of big-picture financial planning and investing and typically don’t have friends who work in these fields to advise them. And it’s hardly news that women on average don’t earn as much, or advance as far, in their careers compared to their male counterparts.
According to the article, there is no “male version” of this syndrome. Thier fears revolve around being injured, dying young, and being laid off from work, concerns that Olivia Mellan calls “more rational.”
Updated April 4, 2008 and originally published January 11, 2006. If you enjoyed this article, subscribe to the RSS feed or receive daily emails. Follow @ConsumerismComm on Twitter and visit our Facebook page for more updates.