Apparently, it’s tough being a single woman who heads a household these days.The Consumer Federation of America released the results of an analysis of data from the Federal Reserve’s Survey of Consumer Finances. Single women head 26 percent of American households. Single was defined as never married, divorced or separated. The 2004 data showed that single women earned a median annual income of $22,592, compared with $43,130 across all households in the U.S. That’s a significant difference. Single women’s net worth was also lower: $32,850 compared with $93,001 for all households. In addition, households headed by single women have lower savings rates than other households – 33 percent of single women “save regularly” compared with 41 percent for all households; 33 percent of single women “don’t save” compared with 22 percent of all households.And, the analysis found that women who’d never married, separated or divorced were even more vulnerable. Among the never married female population – 47 percent have a savings or money market deposit account – that means more than half do not have this kind of savings. Those who do have such an account have an average balance of $1,100. Yet apparently the same women cite a need to have at least $2,000 in emergency savings. Sounds like there’s a gap between understanding and behavior. The same women who understand they need to have emergency funds aren’t saving. But there’s got to be more to it. This data was from 2004. It would be interesting to see what the numbers would be for 2008. For the full report visit this link:

Dec. 2, 2008