Actually they do reconcile. The first one saying the 90% of the women fear that something could happen, external to their situations, that could cause the loss of their jobs. Terrorist attack, economy downturn, whatever. At the same time, 45% say that they are confident in managing the money they earn and the security of their retirement. They're saying that they manage the money they do earn, right now, effectively. That doesn't go against the first statistic. It's two different questions about two different scenarios.
Yup, got to agree with you here. I'm confident in my ability (since it's my responsibility) to manage our money. I'm confident that it's being managed to the best of our financial ability (within reason--we don't have to eat out) to provide for health care, retirement, life insurance, etc. I feel confident that if I lost my job, or something happened to DH's company, that we'd be...OK-ish. Not great, but not poorhouse, either. (Thank goodness I've already paid for a pack of lessons!!!)
But at the same time, if things happened with DH's business just right, then sh!t would hit the fan and we'd be screwed. If I lost my job, and DH's business wasn't in a position to help pick up the slack, and certain other things happened, we'd be screwed. Sure, we've got fallback positions. But I've seen unemployment last for longer than the planned 6-month savings cusion, and what then? The housing market isn't exactly going like gangbusters anymore, so we could be saddled with a house we couldn't afford at the time.
They don't seem too irreconcileable (sp?). Also, you've got to think that people are not particularly rational in their fears. Sure, I can do the math and read the stats on airplane and flying safety, and compare that to the risk of driving my car on the highways around here. (Particularly poignant since I got run off the road on the way to a lesson/dance last week, and just about got killed in a 4-way car sandwich with Yours Truly stuck in the middle.) But that doesn't mean I don't feel some twinges of fear and anxiety when I hear the engines of a plane start. Just because I manage our money well (DH handles the long-term investments--just so's you know we do split our responsibilities and he's not getting off scott-free), doesn't mean I don't fear the "what if" that could wreck us.
I've seen things come to a screeching halt for my parents, and saw what they went through. I fear the same thing happening to us, no matter how irrational.