Women and Retirement: Backwards and in High Heels

Women and Retirement: Backwards and in High Heels

Americans are so woefully unprepared for retirement that some policy makers are starting to take notice. When it comes to retirement planning, women are like Ginger Rogers paired with Fred Astaire: we have to do everything a man does to prepare, but backwards and in high heels. The consequence is that while full-time working white women in the United States earn only 78 cents for every dollar men earn, the income gap for women in retirement is far wider, with total income for women over age 65 at just 55 percent of older men’s income (Sen Patty Murray Report on The Gender Retirement Gap). Both genders need better retirement options, but women are punished financially for our personal propensity to care. Our frequently interrupted income stream leads to hardship financially in retirement years. We need to consider our looming retirement crisis as a human catastrophe and a women’s economic empowerment issue. Remember the mantra: Control our Money, Control our Destiny. Without reform and planning for our futures, we control neither.

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