Women, widowhood and retirement

Key decisions after the loss of your spouse

Two Perry Elementary students pose with their donated copies of “Owl and Otter and the Big Yard Sale,” as part of LAFCU’s March 24 Listen & Listen program

When you promised to love your spouse “until death do us part,” you didn’t expect that day to arrive when it did. You’re not alone.

During a recent 12-month period, 69 percent of women and 71 percent of men who are 65 years and older became widows and widowers, respectively.1 In the United States, there are 3.58 million widowed men compared with 11.61 million widowed women.2

And widows generally have several years of life left to live. The average life expectancy for women is 79.1,3 and 32 percent of women over 65 are widowed (compared to just 11 percent of men).4 That’s several years of being on their own, if they so choose.

Knowing that there are millions of women who’ve experienced a loss like yours certainly doesn’t ease your pain.


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