Broker Check


Widowhood is a heartbreaking event that happens to almost 1 million women each year. 

It's a fact that women live longer than men. Indeed, half of surviving spouses over age 65 will outlive their husbands by 15 years.  The U.S. Census Bureau reported that in 2011 the median age of widowhood was 59.4 for a first marriage and 60.3 for second marriages.  That means there are many years ahead to be responsible for household financial decisions. 

Making matters more complicated, the loss of a spouse typically includes increased financial responsibilities.Many widows aren't as familiar with investing, insurance policies, taxes or estate planning because in most cases the husband handled all these financial matters.

Sadly, even in cases when the widow handled the family money matters, she's likely to be engulfed in grief and despair. This can result in financial matters being placed on the back burner.  In early widowhood, a widow's grief can parallel what seems to be a brain freeze. For many new widows, memory is weak, attention span is short, and decision-making is downright difficult.

Here are some suggestions following the death of a spouse:

  • Do not rush into major irrevocable money decisions right away.
  • Consider decisions regarding your home very carefully.
  • Interview several financial planners to find who you are comfortable with and who will take the time to educate you.
  • Get an objective review of your finances.

Crescendo has helped many women (and men) through becoming and then living as a widow.  We take it at your pace, understanding that the first year is often the worst. You will experience many different emotions and fears. We work to help you feel safe, secure, educated and not rushed into making any hasty decisions. We also invite you to bring any trusted family members with you, too. 

We welcome the opportunity to see if we would be the right fit to help you.  Please contact us by calling 262-685-3375 or by email at for an informational call or meeting.

Additional Resources

Women and Retirement

Suddenly Single

A Brief History of Estate Taxes