You’ll Probably Die Alone

Yes, we’ll call this “Depressing Wednesday”.

I got a copy of “Get Financially Naked” in Well Heeled’s give away. Now, I find it pretty ironic that this single girl would end up with a copy of a book aimed at getting couples on the right track financially, but we’ll just chalk that up to “Depressing Wednesday” as well. 😉

I’ve decided that I would review this book for you guys a chapter at a time as I go through it. Mainly because I’ll probably go through it really slow (I’ve got a lot on my plate right now, have you heard?) and there is a lot of interesting stuff in this book.

And we’re starting today with just the introduction.

Now the introduction is pretty basic, it is just laying out the need of this book and how it is organized.

But, the very last threw a bomb-shell at me that I have yet to recover from:

Did you know that 80% of men die married while 80% of women die single?

Holy cow. Did you guys get that? 8 out of 10 of us is going to die… ALONE.

Wow.

And here we thought that the entire point of getting married was so that we wouldn’t have to die alone, right? That’s the whole point? (I jest, I truly do)

What is truly frightening about this number is that if we’re going to be dying alone, we should also probably be self sufficient. And the irony of all of this is that the sex that dies alone is also the sex that is the least prepared to do so.

Thankfully modern women have started to become more independent. But I worry when I see women who’s sole goal is just to find a husband to take care of her financial life for her. And I see a lot of them, unfortunately.

There is really no excuse for any women to not take control of her finances. Even if you’re married. Okay, especially if you’re married.

If you’re not the one paying the bills each month, you should at least know where all that information is. Know where each check is going. Know how your husband organizes things. There is a good possibility that he won’t be there someday, and you need to know how to get by on your own.

Now, I realize that my blog demographic is not the older, married woman. However, let me just give a fair warning to all you young married or single women out there. Money is power. And knowing where the money is gives you power. Power to know exactly where you stand financially, power to leave at any point if you need to, power to be an equal with your partner.

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20 Responses to You’ll Probably Die Alone

  1. psychsarah says:

    So interesting… I pretty much assume I’ll die after my husband. It’s hopefully a long way off (we’re in our 30s) but he’s 6 years older than me and I tend to have healthier habits. Like the books’ stats show, women tend to outlive their spouses. That said, I’m the one who manages all things financial. I periodically try to explain everything to him in case something happens to me, but I don’t know if he really listens. I wonder if this is how husbands who manage things feel about their wives… I hope your post does inspire some women to empower themselves and get the knowledge they need about their money.

  2. As depressing as the statistics sound, it’s really just due to the life expectancy of women vs. men. However, I agree with your main point, which is that women shoudl be taking a role in their family’s finances. Not just because your husband may die, but because there are a number of reasons taht you might not be with this man for the rest of your life. A lot of the female PF horror stories have to do with women giving all the power and leaving all of the decisions up to the man.

    Pay attention, ladies, and make sure your name is on EVERYTHING!

    • I think it’s time to start questioning the assumption that finances should be combined. Given that a larger percentage of marriages now end in divorce maybe it’s worth looking at as a society how we distribute property/assets.

      My partner works, and if i was to work hard and invest and if she was to fritter away her income than I would be punished for it. Sorry just venting

  3. @psychsarah: Same boat here — I explain, but I’m not sure if he’s really listening! Again, hopefully we’ll have many more decades together, and that will be enough time to get it through to him. It might also help to have an easily accessible “financial file” in case of emergency.

  4. I somewhat agree and disagree with you. I whole-heartedly support people knowing about their own finances. I don’t equate money with power though and certainly not in a relationship. At least I hope no relationship is about a power struggle. I do see it as being informed and knowledgeable about one’s own finances though (and generally everything) and just being active in something that truly affects oneself. It’s what will make us truly independent.

    • SS4BC says:

      I do think that if you don’t know your money situation and your partner does, then they have a hand hold over the relationship. Knowing about your monetary situation puts you in equal position with your partner, and I think that it what the aim should do.

      There SHOULDN’T be a struggle for power, and making sure that the finances are transparent to both parties helps ensure this.

  5. I’m reading the book as well! I won it from Budgets Are Sexy’s giveaway. I mean, the only reason that woman are dying alone now is because they tend to outlive men. Although the soaring divorce rates don’t really help. I don’t think that should be the sole reason that women should empower themselves financially. Everyone should know about their money (where it’s came from, where it’s going, etc). I’ve always thought that there should be a personal finance component in our education system rather than just the core reading, writing, and ‘rithmetic!

  6. Can I participate in depressing Wednesday too? Just got dumped 😦

    I’m not going to die alone… I’ll have cats. I think I’m going to be a crazy cat lady soon. Nevermind that I don’t have a cat yet… I’ll get there.

    • SS4BC says:

      A) I’m sorry you got dumped. That sucks.
      B) Your crazy cat lady thing totally made me laugh. You will not die alone, you’ll have me. We’ll be long distance, personal finance single ladies together. =D

  7. Revanche says:

    @me in millions, @SS4BC: Not to worry, we have a plan for this “dying alone” business. All of us girlfriends will gather at a central location and grow old together sitting on porch swings and reminiscing. And playing with the cats and dogs.

  8. There’s the longer life expectancy for women, and it’s compounded by the fact that men tend to marry younger women and women tend to marry older men. So if there’s already a 5 year life expectancy difference, and the husband is 5 years older than the wife, then boom! You’d expect the woman to be a widow for a decade (unless she marries someone else, but older men are much more “in demand” on the older dating market because they are more scarce, if you will. I’ve heard of stories of nursing home competition where an elderly gentleman may have 5 ladies vying for his attention).

    Even if the couple die at around the same age, the husband will still go first because he tends to be older. I have decided to hedge against this probability a bit by choosing a partner that is almost 2 years younger than I. ;D

  9. mo says:

    Hey lady, interesting post. In our house, he earns the most and I know what is happening with it all the most! I am educating him on how it all works though, and I am also learning to earn more money. I do worry about how he will cope if I die though. I know I will be alright! I mean, It would be hard and all but I am very resourceful and adaptable. He is less of both of those and it worries me! However – I also think that women may out live their partners, but they also have better support networks. I know I put a lot of effort into mine. I have friends in the real world as well as on line, I maintain relationships with my family – including all the cousins etc. I won’t be dying alone. I do, however need to learn how to earn more money. And we do need to provide for our future. And I agree that finances should be taught at school. ALong with cooking for yourself and household management. Its a crime that these things are not valued more highly.

  10. This is so so so important! Thank you for posting this. I’m actually working on a blog post right now that you have inspired. I will quote you and give you credit, so thank you for bringing up such a crucial topic.

  11. Pingback: SS4BC – A Year In Summary «

  12. lllemagine says:

    This is just one more reason to hook up with a younger men. 🙂

  13. Mark says:

    First, I must point out that unless you and your spouse die at the exact same moment, one of you will probably die alone. The whole notion of not wanting to die alone is absurd. Just another one of those quirks in society, I suppose.

    I don’t see women who want men to take care of them. I see ‘financially stable’ women who want men to outearn them. That just isn’t going to be possible for every woman. There are not enough professional men to meet the growing supply of professional women. Especially women in their 30’s, as many professional men were plucked off the market in their late-20’s.

    Women have gained more equality and are financially independent, yet many have been generally unable to shut-off their innate design to desire a provider. This has caused a large flux of single women.

    This was off the topic, but oh well.

  14. Mickey says:

    It’s as simple as this: 80 percent of the married men die before their spouse dies because men don’t live as long. Sorry. But yes, I agree. Women should be prepared (at least financially) for their husband’s death. Not only that, but people should come together to support widows, and should make a point of visiting the elderly in retirement homes. These basic “shoulds” are hugely neglected in our society.

  15. nick says:

    women live longer than men, but if you read the new york times article that 51% of americas women now live alone, you sure that 80% isnt higher?
    also older women above 45 (single or divorced) are unlikley to find new men – were either dead, gay or all married, so they’ll die alone too.
    me i’m dating foreign women as the western dating scene is just for older women chasing alpha males – (who are all married too). so most women are on the valium contemplating their lonley demise.
    men like me are no longer interested in western women – so i dont know who they’ll partner up with? theres no-one left.

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