Journal of Family and Economic Issues

, Volume 31, Issue 1, pp 63–81 | Cite as

Perceptions of Financial Well-Being among American Women in Diverse Families

  • Kathleen Malone
  • Susan D. Stewart
  • Jan Wilson
  • Peter F. Korsching
Original Paper


This study investigated the financial well-being of American women using data from a nationwide web survey of 368 women between the ages of 30 and 65 with household incomes of at least $40,000. Specifically, we examined perceptions of financial well-being among women with and without children who lived in different family forms including marriage, cohabitation, stepfamilies, as well as women who were single. The majority of women reported they had conservative buying behaviors, desired financial independence, had a somewhat negative view of their current financial situation, had worries about retirement and their financial futures, and considered long-term care insurance a necessity. Women in nontraditional families (single mothers, cohabitors, and stepfamilies) had significantly greater worries about their financial futures than women in first marriages. Single mothers were less likely to say that they had their financial house in order and were more likely to express concern that their money would not last through retirement. Cohabiting women were significantly more likely to express fears about becoming a burden. All three groups were more likely than women in first marriages to agree that long-term care insurance is a necessity. Women who were older, were more educated, had higher income, and who contributed more money to the household income had more positive perceptions of their financial situation.


Family structure Finances Financial well-being Money Retirement Women 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kathleen Malone
    • 1
  • Susan D. Stewart
    • 1
  • Jan Wilson
    • 2
  • Peter F. Korsching
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of SociologyIowa State UniversityAmesUSA
  2. 2.Gestalt, IncNevadaUSA

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