For women heading toward retirement, there’s good news and bad news. The good news is they’re likely to be blessed with long life. The bad news: They may not be able to afford it.
That, in effect, is the conclusion of a recent study by the U.S. General Accounting Office. Despite the increase in women’s workforce-participation rates over the past two decades, the poverty rate in 2010 for women 65 and older was 9% -- nearly twice the rate for men, at 5%. And while 6% of widowers lived in poverty, 12% of widows were poor.
According to the GAO report, women have a tougher time saving for retirement in part because they take time out from the workforce to care for family members, and when they do work they have lower earnings than men. Other studies bear this out: Women who are 50 to 69 have about 20% less in retirement savings than men in that age group, according to a recent report by the ING Retirement Research Institute. Another report notes that while half of baby-boomer men have retirement savings of at least $200,000, only 35% of female boomers have that level of savings.
Women who are five to ten years from retirement can take some steps to improve their financial readiness. Many of these moves can apply to women of all ages.
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: 10 Great U.S. Cities for Retirees 5 Costly Retirement Surprises 10 Things You Must Know About Social Security The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.