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Women twice as likely as men to retire in poverty

The median income for elderly women is $11,600 less per year than it is for senior men.

By Stacy Johnson May 16, 2014 11:55AM

This post comes from Krystal Steinmetz at partner site Money Talks News

Money Talks News on MSN MoneyIf you think gender inequality ends at the workplace, you're wrong. The financial disparity between men and women extends into retirement.

According to CNN Money, women are nearly twice as likely as men to live below the poverty line during retirement. In fact, women 65 years and older have a median income of about $16,000 a year, while their male counterparts get about $27,600. Single and minority women tend to struggle the most, CNN Money said.

There are a number of reasons that women have less money in the “golden years” of retirement. According to Reuters:

Women have lower lifetime income based on less time in the workforce," says David Littell, who directs a program focused on retirement income at the American College in Bryn Mawr, Pa. "As a result, they have less in savings, lower Social Security benefits – and they live longer than men. Those things don't go well together.

CNN Money provided some detail on the factors that impact women’s nest eggs in retirement.

Elderly Woman Looking Out a Window © Keith Brofsky, Photodisc, Getty ImagesLower lifetime earnings. On average, a full-time working woman earns just 77 cents to every dollar a man is paid, CNN Money said. This disparity in income impacts a woman’s ability to save for retirement, as well as the amount of Social Security benefits she is able to accrue. Females also make up about two-thirds of all part-time employees – jobs that rarely come with workplace retirement plans.

Less time in the workforce. The AARP Public Policy Institute says that over the course of their careers, women work about 12 years less than their male counterparts. This is often because women take some time off work to raise children or care for an aging family member.

Outdated Social Security system. The Social Security system was initially designed to provide support for married couples -- generally a man who brought home the bacon and a nonworking wife who was entitled to Social Security spousal benefits at retirement age. Fewer women get that benefit now, and their own Social Security payments based on their work history are lower.

Does it surprise you that women are twice as likely to retire in poverty than men? Share your thoughts below. 

More from Money Talks News

May 17, 2014 12:48AM
One thing that's not mentioned in the article, is that women historically dominate the lower-paying jobs. Retail and food-service jobs are generally poorly paid, yet they offer scedule flexability. Hence, a women with a work history in these fields may have logged in less wages, so her SS will naturally reflect this.
May 19, 2014 3:47PM
30% of women with their kids in school do not work - and for a myriad of reasons.
1.  They are princesses - check the volumes of women at Starbucks from 11 am to 4 pm
2.  They expected their husbands to pay for them, so they never got educated
3.  They use their children as shields to avoid work - and society gets taxed to pay for them
4.  They can't get fired for being a bad housewife - even if they do nothing and stink at it
3.  Their greed stresses and kills off their husbands who die young and now no one can pay for them. 

May 17, 2014 6:15AM
Now that the health care system has changed, women and MEN 55 years and older---if they will receive subsidies to purchase their health insurance, will need to pay back the government for those subsidies AFTER they are dead!  Yep.  The cash register starts tallying up the subsidies and when the person dies....a bill comes that must be paid FIRST before any doctors or anyone else!
So women who are poor are MORE likely to have their grave tapped into by the gov.  The old rocking chair WILL BE SOLD to pay the government back for all that health insurance bought...all that health insurance that never really paid one thin dime toward any real care!
May 16, 2014 9:13PM
America doesn't care about it's single men! 
May 17, 2014 1:01AM
Single/divorced women women age 35/50 w/o kids at home  have partied on down for yrs and all of a sudden up jumped the devil. Gravity has taken effect, lack of education and low  job skiills are raising their ugly heads and all of a sudden the idea of retirement comes into focus. At a late age in life they have now become husband (sugar daddy) hunters w/o bait. The light at the end of the tunnel is an oncoming train. Too little planning too late. Living their senior yeras in poverty is now becoming an undeniable fact of life. Woulda. coulda. shoulda is just too late. No one wants to see anyone in this situation but it is the same story as the grasshopper and the ant. Yea, we all wish we could have been just party animals while in our younger years but we did the 8-5 commute thing, sold our souls to the company., kised butt, skimped, saved, and most have found a promising retirement.  Maybe not great but livable. We sacrificed  and it was worth it. Unfortunately I have little sympathy for the afore mentioned class but you made your bed, sleep in it, but I believe you have done so already.        
May 16, 2014 8:41PM
America doesn't care about its single women
May 16, 2014 2:32PM
Older women don't have time to work, they have a doctor's appointment, every other day. Doctors are stringing them along.

May 16, 2014 9:18PM
We talk big in this grand old country, the "USA", about how our women are the backbone of the country; the wives, and mothers, sisters, and daughters. They are the caregivers, the teachers, the nurses;....and doctors, judges, senators, and someday, president.

May 16, 2014 9:35PM
noone cares about women- just look how they are treated around the world-not a surprise they are worthless in the USA when it comes to payment/job related

May 16, 2014 12:03PM

Seriously they just have to marry money and then take half of it in a community property settlement!


They have the government supported baby insurance program.

May 17, 2014 10:47AM
What about the women that are without work, not because of something of their own doing?  How do they retire? What about the women that never was able to finish school or get the proper training in a job/position because of supervisors keeping them in (their place) because they are smart and capable of doing any job well.  As for social security, why hasn't it been changed for women to receive as much as men, since women have now become the bread winner in the family.  A lot of men have lost their jobs, so the women have had to take up the slack and carry the load for the whole family. Are the men really going to pitch in and support the women?  I do agree that women are living longer than men, so social security benefits should be higher for women.  Remember, we are the backbone of the family, jobs, and this country.
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