Always afraid

MSN Money on Bag Lady Syndrome:

ag-lady syndrome plagues, puzzles and, in more extreme cases, paralyzes women who want to get a better grip on their financial lives, according to Olivia Mellan, the author of “The Advisor’s Guide to Money Psychology” and a Washington, D.C., therapist who specializes in money psychology. Lily Tomlin, Gloria Steinem, Shirley MacLaine and Katie Couric all admit to having a bag lady in their anxiety closet.

“It cuts across women of all social groups; it’s not like wealthy women don’t have it,” says Mellan. “Heiresses, women who have inherited wealth, have big bag-lady nightmares because they really feel like the money came to them magically and can leave them just as magically.”

Fears of Insecurity. Women tend to be unprepared and overwhelmed when widowhood or divorce suddenly plops their financial security in their hands. If they’ve long feared they will wind up a bag lady, these transitions can feel like the nightmare is about to play out in real life. As a result, they tend to avoid money, horde money or invest too conservatively to make the money they’ll need later in life.

EH sent me this, seeing as how it underlined a point I made previously… one problem is that since few wealthy women earned their money, having usually inherited or married it, very few of them know the first thing about making more of it. Money might as well be magic or technology, as far as they’re concerned. This inherent fear of risk-taking is why women will never be economically competitive with men despite the advantage of longer lifespans, as the most common element among men of wealth is the spectacular failures, even bankruptcies, from which they have learned and come back even stronger.

But it’s quite understandable. What makes absolutely no sense is how they tend to look to the government to provide the security they crave. That would be the blithering idiocy….