Clear gender divide in experiences of bereavement
28 February 2017
Commenting on Independent Age’s research into coping with bereavement, Mona Patel, Royal London’s Consumer spokesperson, said:
“Coping with the loss of a loved one is not just about having to deal with the emotional impact but also the financial and practical consequences. Our own research shows a clear bereavement gender divide, with women suffering more financially and practically in the aftermath of losing a spouse or long-term partner. Bereaved women reported lower household and disposable income, compared to men and were twice as likely to be forced to move home.
“While we can’t prepare for every eventuality, and as difficult as it may be to talk about dying, having plans in place will help loved ones left behind be more financially secure and better able to manage the everyday chores and tasks.”
Notes to Editors:
Royal London’s Losing a Partner research spoke to 500 people who had experienced bereavement in the last five years and found:
- Half (51%) of bereaved women reported lower household income, compared to a third (35%) of men.
- Women also reported lower disposable income (45%) compared to men (24%).
- Around four in ten (44%) women had to cut back on discretionary spending such as holidays, compared to a third (35%) of men.
- Women were more likely to draw on savings or take out a loan, and more likely to spend less on household bills (including utilities) and less on everyday items.
- One of the more extreme financial impacts following the loss of a partner was downsizing or moving house. While just one in ten (10%) men downsize or move house, two in ten (18%) women are forced to move home following a bereavement.
- Overall, one in five (21%) women surveyed said they had made five or more financial changes, compared to only one in ten (11%) men.
- The financial impacts for both sexes last longer than expected, with a quarter (26%) reporting lower disposable income in the first year after bereavement, rising to two in five (42%) people one to three years after. Even three to five years after losing a spouse or partner, around a third (36%) still report lower disposable income.
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About Royal London:
Royal London is the largest mutual life, pensions and investment company in the UK, with Group funds under management of £101 billion. Group businesses provide around 9.1 million policies and employ 3,179 people. (Figures quoted are as at 30 September 2016).