LA CROSSE, Wis. -

The Great Recession in 2008 took a toll on many people's finances across the nation.    

But a new study shows it may also have worked to the benefit of some women by sparking a desire to take control of their financial planning.

More than half of the women surveyed in a recent study by the Allianz Life Insurance Company say they have more earning power than ever before.

It also shows the recession in 2008 might have been just the spark needed to encourage them to work harder than ever to take control of their financial future.

Sue Fauankron said her interest in her financial future changed drastically when the Great Recession hit in 2008.

"I think watching the money drop suddenly, we had college funds for our kids and they dropped probably by half the value," said Frauankron.

Financial Investor Mike Klauke said he's seen similar experiences from the recession serve as a wake-up call for many of his clients, including women.

"I firmly believe it made a lot better consumers because people started to take more interest in what they have," said Klauke.

The study by Allianz Life Insurance shows almost 60 percent of married women surveyed are now the ones primarily handling major investment decisions and retirement planning.

It also shows more than 60 percent of all women surveyed have a strong interest in learning about financial planning.

They're Findings Klauke said he sees everyday.

"I'm seeing women become that chief finance officer. Now they're not only doing the household budget, but they're saying, 'I want to be part of the retirement. I want to be part of the whole process,'" said Klauke.

But the study also shows more than 60 percent of women do not work with a financial professional

While Klauke said he's always had many female clients, there's no doubt the industry is taking note of a woman's growing desire to be financially responsible.

"I get something literally once a week, over email, from a seminar house or something saying women investors are important and how to target women investors to become our clients. So yes, it is a huge part of our industry," said Klauke.

While Frauankron said she handles her finances separately from her husband, she said he did encuorage her to seek out help to plan for retirement.

"He's very good though at setting up retirement planning and he brought a retirement planner in and he's working with me also," said Frauankron.

While the study shows more and more women are becoming the primary bread winners in their home, about half of all women surveyed live with a fear of losing all their money and becoming homeless.

The study also shows 80 percent of women in a same-sex relationship said their non traditional family structure creates a whole new level of need for financial awareness.