Recession could hit single women even harder

Financial Advisors


  • The potential for inflation and recession can be particularly difficult for single women, as gender pay gaps and other social inequalities persist.
  • A financial advisor who specializes in demographics will advise you.
  • A woman worried about the economic downturn may want to reduce discretionary spending as much as possible.

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Concerns about a potential recession and the possibility of high inflation may weigh most heavily on single women, said a financial adviser who works with demographics.

“During inflation, things like rent, utilities, groceries, and health care costs fall,” says Kathy Curtis, a certified financial planner and founder and CEO of Curtis Financial Planning in Oakland, Calif. The cost of everything goes up: For women who live alone, Curtis said, “they bear the brunt of increased expenses.”

To make matters worse, the gender pay gap persists, with women still earning only 82% of what men earn, said CNBC Financial Advisor Council member Curtis. “Rising inflation hits low-income women hard,” she said.

Learn more about Ask an Advisor

Here are the FA Council’s views on how to navigate this economy while building wealth.

A recession later this year, as some economists predict, would leave many single women in a more vulnerable financial position, Curtis said. But she has some tips on how they can protect themselves.

A recession can cause labor market problems due to severe job cuts. For women living alone, losing a paycheck could mean a suspension of all household income, and lower wages compared to men could mean single women have less savings to rely on. There is a possibility

The thought of losing your job can be very difficult, but knowing that you will be fine financially during periods of unemployment may provide some comfort.

“When a recession hits, taking weeks or months off work is a real possibility,” Curtis said. “This is difficult for single women who already make less money than men.”

Her main piece of advice to her single female clients is to build an adequate emergency fund. Or if you feel the industry is volatile, we recommend a year’s worth of basic expenses.

With interest rates rising, people can earn 4% or more in cash with a little effort to find such an account.

Curtis said women worried about the economic downturn might want to cut back on discretionary spending as much as possible and focus instead on saving and investing.

Subscriptions, cable services, insurance and food are typically areas where some cuts are possible, she added. With the labor market emitting some warning signs, some women may want to start a side business if they have the skills they believe can generate money.

If your job is entirely remote, Curtis added.

Curtis also advises women to keep their resumes up to date, reflect all their experiences and achievements, and keep expanding their network “even in the good times.”

“The more contacts you have, the more likely you are to find a new job quickly,” she said.

She also wants to keep her skills “fresh,” she said. “Take classes, watch webinars, read. Stay up to date in your field.”



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