Initiating conversations with client couples about what to do when one spouse dies is difficult, but it’s in clients’ best interest to have these discussions when both partners are able to participate. It’s especially important for women, who are more likely to be the surviving spouse.

A study released Monday by New York Life found 68% of women reported significant life changes following the death of their spouse.

Men suffered, too, following the death of their wife, but the survey found they reported significant life changes at lower rates than women. Over half of women (55%) said adjusting to a change in income was a significant challenge they faced as a widow and 46% cited budgeting for one income, compared with 34% and 32% for men, respectively.

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