Almost half of American women fear becoming bag ladies, study says
Despite making enormous strides professionally and financially, almost half of American women fear becoming bag ladies, even many of those earning six-figure salaries, according to a new survey.
Six in 10 women describe themselves as the primary breadwinners in their households, and 54% manage the family finances, according to the poll by Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America.
Even so, 49% fear becoming a bag lady -- a homeless woman who wanders the streets of a city lugging her meager belongings in a shopping bag.
Most surprising, 27% of women earning more than $200,000 a year said they fear falling into such destitution.
Such concerns were most pronounced among single women (56%), divorcees (54%) and widows (47%). But even 43% of married women harbor such fears, according to the study.
Allianz polled more than 2,200 women aged 25 to 75 with minimum household income of $30,000 a year.
The study points up the conflicting emotions of American women toward money, and the disconnect among some between their generally promising financial reality and their deep-seated financial fears.
Fifty-seven percent of poll respondents said they “have more earning power than ever before” and “handle major investment decisions and retirement planning.”
Yet many also worry that financial achievement alienates both men and other women.
Forty-two percent said financially independent women intimidate men and run the risk of ending up alone, according to the survey. Almost one-third (31%) said those women are hard to relate to and don’t have many friends.
Follow Walter Hamilton on Twitter @LATwalter
Your guide to our new economic reality.
Get our free business newsletter for insights and tips for getting by.
You may occasionally receive promotional content from the Los Angeles Times.