Skip to comments.Why many retired women live in poverty
Posted on 05/20/2014 9:34:42 PM PDT by Jack Hydrazine
Gender inequality doesn't end at the workplace. For many women, the gender gap haunts them well into their retirement years, when far more women find themselves living in poverty.
In fact, women are almost twice as likely as men to live below the poverty line during retirement, with single and minority women struggling the most (see chart).
On average, women 65 years and older rely on a median income of around $16,000 a year -- roughly $11,000 less than men of the same age, according to a Congressional analysis of Census data. And many elderly women rely exclusively on Social Security benefits.
The problem: Women earn -- and save -- less over their lifetimes than men, leaving them with a smaller nest egg. And because they tend to live longer, that savings has to last longer, too.
(Excerpt) Read more at money.cnn.com ...
Have they found a way to blame Bush or Reagan yet?
I don’t know how accurate this article is but I lean on the side of them being correct since I have read other articles that indicate women tend to hit poverty after divorce.
Because they voted Democrat?
Just nationalize everyone’s retirements and make all distributions equal regardless of how much a person worked or saved. Except for the public employee union members of course.
They are working on it.
The cause of this is simple: a lifetime of shopping has left them destitute!
They're also more likely to be alive so ... nyah nyah nyah longevity inequality!
We should force retired men into poverty. That way everyone will be equally poor and the liberals will be happy.
Cry me a river...
Ironic, since women initiate divorce twice as often as men.
“And because they tend to live longer, that savings has to last longer, too.”
Well, isn’t that unfair /s
“Ironic, since women initiate divorce twice as often as men.”
That sounds correct. However divorce effects both husband and wife negatively... Especially for older folks, divorce is stupid...
The reason elderly women have less money than men is the reason younger women earn less money: in general women try to work regular hours, shorter hours, because they are taking care of children at first, and perhaps parents later. If you only work 9 to 5 because you have to drop kids off and pick them up from daycare, or you take days off to take them to the pediatrician and stay home with them when they’re sick, you’re not going to make as much money as the male colleague who may be no more smart or talented but can work late, travel on business, or pull all-nighters. That’s not discrimination, it’s just a fact of life, but it does mean that we don’t get the pay raises and promotions and we don’t accumulate the pensions and Social Security our male colleagues do.
I am a woman facing an old age of near-poverty. Being a dedicated mother who put her children first was indeed my decision, and I’m going to pay for it. I don’t see a solution to the problem.
Meanwhile, I might just gently point out that making bitchy remarks about shopping habits is not a helpful contribution to the discussion.
When feminists attacked patriarchy, they destroyed the very institution that protected and provided for them. Discontent fed the independence drive that drove them to complain more and divorce. The family be d@mned a girl has to reach her full potential you know. Family Law changes awarded the discontented independent any children plus cash and prises from the ex she defrauded - but Oprah nation said you go girl, he wasn’t meeting your needs and you can do better. Women in droves free from the patriarchal structures looked to their rich uncle Sam to provide what a husband should, only they did not realize Sam was a cheat who would enslave them far worse than any husband could. In droves they swooned and then voted as Obama promised them they could have sex out of marriage and murder their children, because they didn’t want to punished with a baby. They left the so called oppression of patriarchy that built the nation and ran straight into government slavery. Now they find out that when you make a deal with the Devil you get burned. Only in this case we all are consumed in flames.
they forget men die earlier and they can live off their benefits/monies.
I’m a year away from 80 -
I worked to retirement age - which coincided with my doctor telling me I had to stop because of health.
I often worked one full time and 2 part time jobs - to make less than a man’s wage on one. And health insurance seldom came with women’s jobs.
When my children were little - in the ‘60’s, we traditionally stayed home and raised OUR OWN KIDS.
The gov’t didn’t used to punish us for that - but now they do. Instead of figuring soc. sec on your last or best 10 years of work, hey go back to age 15 - and add the child rearing years in a ZEROS - That takes the amount down drastically.
There’s an old Cherokee saying: “Unless you have walked in my moccasins many moons, do not judge.”
So I agree with you, ottbmare, the snarky remarks here are not needed.
For you younger gals, thank your lucky stars that employment for women today has done a 180 - I am ecstatic for my granddaughters, seeing them in great paying positions, knowing they won’t have the struggles my generation of women did...and do.
I miss the Freepers that were here 10 years ago - most of them have given up and moved on. I can see why.
At one time, families greatly valued decisions such as yours.
But I suppose these are different times. I hope your children understand the sacrifices that you made, and will be there when you need help. The best of luck to you.
I agree. Unfortunately, that has become the trend of FR over the years. I think it's supposed to pass for humor. Go figure. You just have to ignore those FReepers and make a note of the FReepers whose posts are worth reading.
I am in the same boat except that I spent a lot of my working years taking care of terminally ill family members (3) never giving a thought to the toll it could take on my finances in my senior years. Even so, I'd do the same thing again. You know how it goes. You rise to the challenge at hand.
It's difficult to get back into the work force when you've been out for a while. Now that I'm facing this very austere way of life, I really need a job. (Lost mine immediately after the ObamaCare Supreme Court decision was announced.) The trouble is, no one wants to hire an old lady. :'( Nobody warned me that I would be unnecessary by my 60s.
I miss the Freepers that were here 10 years ago - most of them have given up and moved on. I can see why.
I hope for the best for you and I also hope your children you raised will help you as time goes by. God Bless you.
And weemen keep thinkin they’re so darned smart.
Know why men die younger than weeme?
Cuz we wanna ....
You literally talk us out of living and it just sometimes seems the only way out.
“Because they voted Democrat?”
I agree kind of. My friends shopped and partied never thinking about tomorrow.
My choice was to spend my money raising my kids, some college, some tech school. It was a choice I willingly and consciously made. Don’t regret it.
Due to this decision life is gonna be a bit harder but my rewards are my here or now.
living a simple life sounds real good to me.
I just saw your tagline. Btw my son joined the army almost a year ago. I guess we did good lady.
Do you live in GA, Florida, Sc, ala or nc? I know a company hiring even at 60.
I agree with this article because I find it to be true. At age 66, I’ll be getting $1200-1300/mo from SS while my husband will get $2400. However, I had my own medical transcription service for 10 years so I could have flexibility raising my kids. Being self employed didn’t leave us with much money on paper, though. When the kids were older, I went to work at a hospital but only worked 32 hours, again, to be there for the kids. Meanwhile my husband had a full time day job as well as working several nights a week as a server, so of course his income base is larger and he’ll receive more than me.
We made the conscious decision to raise our children this way, and it has paid off very well. All of our kids are smart, funny, creative, and a joy to be around. They love hanging out with us and even invite us to their parties, which we usually attend. I have no doubt they’ll be there for us in the future if we need help, as we were there for them.
talk about boo-hoo on parade. Any other excuses you would like to throw out why you are lazy? I am a single dad working 50+ hours a week, pulling all nighters working on the weekends and raising two kids while cooking for them every night and teaching them responsibilities. Sounds to me like you want a pity party. Go join the DEM party.
$3,700.00 per month in Social Security alone will provide for a reasonably comfortable retirement in most of the country. Surviving spouse will get the higher of the two, so the least you’d be looking at would be $2,400.00, which is still decent assuming a paid off primary residence and no other debt.
I was cheerfully greeted and had my order rung up by a woman who had to be in her seventies today, in a fast food restaurant. She was happy to be there, made her life so much better to have the extra income. We talked. I felt bad for her when I first saw her, and felt something akin to proud of her by the time I left. You do what you have to do, and she’s doing it in good spirits. No point in getting down or complaining, it only makes matters seem worse.
Not all of us have given up.
I was fourty-seven when my dad died, he was a railroader so my mom got virtually nothing.
My brother and I had to steal her mail to pay her bills for her (she was living off her savings). Stubborn old lady, she found out what we were doing and damn near chewed both of us a new one.
We finally convinced her that it was not a big deal to us and we could afford it. Both my brother and I and our wives had raised our kids and they were out in the world, so we had the money.
She gave to us her whole life, it was time to give back.
For a large part of my adult life, I have been a stay at home mom. I have two college degrees and worked before my kids and on and off from home now that they are teens. This was a decision my husband and I came to as it was the best for our family, and his job provided more money, more benefits, and more flexibility. Not because he was a man but because of his degree, experience and skill set. My experience and skills also can more easily be used in a career I could have from home.
With that being said, we planned for retirement with both of us equally
covered. My husband has much more life insurance on him, our retirement savings and accounts are equally both of ours, and he has a pension he can begin collecting on when he can retire in 4 years that I am “half owner” of.
So we’ve done what we can do to ensure the best for our retirement,
hopefully together for a long time, but later for the one. It was about
choices and we would of had more for retirement had I worked f/t all those years. But we think we got and gave something money can’t buy with me staying home.
Now if there was ever a divorce, husband would probably complain to the
world how I “am ripping him off” as he “worked”. Oh, trust me, I worked! And I protected myself. But after nearly 20 happy years, I think we did the best possible. If I had been making more, husband would have stayed home.
You seem to be outvoted on this thread.
I have not engaged in what you are pleased to refer to as “a pity party,” sir. I said I made a choice to put my children first, before a lucrative career. I chose jobs from which I wouldn’t get fired if I took days off to attend to a child who had a serious chronic illness. I didn’t make as much money as the men and women who had supportive spouses or no children. It was simply a matte of priorities, not a complaint.
It’s very difficult for everybody else to figure out why you’re so resentful about that. I’m not asking you or anyone else for a penny. Kindly note my tag line: I raised a US Marine, I did it without a lick of help from anybody, and I’m damn proud of the way I conducted my vocation as a mother.
And by the way, before you accuse me of being lazy with my jobs and home business: while you’re working fifty hours a week and pulling all-nighters, who is watching your children? It’s nice if there’s a family member who is prepared to spend the night with them. We aren’t all lucky enough to have living family members to do that. (Surely you aren’t leaving them alone, of course.)
My husband lost his day job last year so he went full time at his part time job. He will be 61 next week and he’s a waiter at a casino steakhouse. Sometimes he feels down about it, but I just remind him that it’s temporary until he gets another sales job, and in the meantime he’s making over $35/hour so (quoting Cher in Moonstruck)....snap out of it. I’m glad that he is able to continue to provide for us and proud that he’s so good at what he does.
There are a lot of people in reduced circumstance having to do the same thing, and a lot of people who would love to have that job, disappointing as it may seem to your husband to be temporarily forced out of his career field. If he can keep convincing himself to be the best casino steakhouse waiter they’ve ever had, and make the most of it for as long as it’s needed, he’ll be happier and probably make more money at it.
It almost certainly IS true (at least in broad terms), but as they also bury, just past the provocative headline, the reason why. Those distinctions are almost entirely due to life choices made by the people in question. It’s going to be very hard to alter this situation in a way that is both just and/or makes economic sense.
Those statements are uncalled for sir.
I hear you two. There’s an unfortunate, persistent anti-female streak that runs through FR.
Women and minority women hardest hit.
You’ve got a good husband.
That’s gonna suck for all those boomer women who dumped their hubby’s so they could go “find” themselves.
Good for you
Child care costs are unbelievably high. My 64 years of experience and observation has shown to me that women generally make less money and have higher expenses over their working years. Most women don’t have careers, they have jobs.
Can’t imagine why you’re single at your age!
That’s a hefty assumption. I don’t think it’s the norm though.
I am almost 82, male, and live with my wife in a nice retirement home. I was lucky and was able worked full time till I was 76. Our children have done well, don’t need our help, and hopefully we will not need theirs.
There are about 220 living units here, only 40 men, 180 women.
Don’t know if that is statistically representative but very few, if any, of these women have not been well provided for. My wife, who worked out side the home for a short time before the children came, and I tried to planned for our old age. Social Security was never meant to be the only source of old age income.