Women are 80% More Likely to be Impoverished by Age 65. So, what you can do about it?
Let’s face it. There is still a glass ceiling. Of course, women have made advances in every profession, and today girls are graduating from college in greater numbers than men. However, the income gap is still in place. Women still take time off to have and raise children, become the caretakers later in life, and pay the same bills as the men with less to go around.
For the baby boomer and silent generations of women who grew up in an age when the professional opportunities were fewer, and personal savings, 401K’s and retirement nest eggs were paltry; the situation is especially challenging, scary and overwhelming.
According to Kerry Hannon at the New York Times, “Across all age groups, women have considerably less income in retirement than men, according to a report from the National Institute on Retirement Security. For women age 65 and older, their income is typically 25 percent lower than that of men. As men and women age, the gap widens to 44 percent by age 80. As a result, women were 80 percent more likely than men to be impoverished at age 65 and older, while women age 75 to 79 were three times more likely to fall below the poverty level than men the same age.”
This grim “elephant in the room” can cause a constant underlying level of anxiety for millions of women today. Not only have most women earned less through their adult years, they tend to live longer than men (current average age is 81.2 versus 76.4 years) and their health care costs can be higher. The fear of running out of money is listed as one of women’s top fears.
While there is no magic answer, here are three ways women are adding extra income later in life:
1. Getting a part time job. The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that by the end of this decade, about 20 percent of women over 65 will be in the labor force. Not only is the extra money critical, the right part time job can be a godsend to battle the loneliness of being at home all day, is rewarding, and can build a broader social network.
2. Starting a hobby business – women are amazingly creative and ingenious! With the power of the internet and sites like Etsy, women of all ages are selling crafts, handmade jewelry, and art. Local farmer’s markets are amazing places to sell baked goods or handmade jams, as well as a wonderful way to be a part of the local community.
3. Find a roommate – house sharing or renting out an extra room in your home is one of the fastest and easiest ways to earn extra income without having to leave the house. Not only does it offer financial support, it also has countless benefits to your health. Studies show our health declines when living alone. Also, for those who can no longer afford their home, renting with a companionable housemate is much more pleasant than living in a tiny, stale apartment.
Silvernest was created specifically to assist older adults to manage both the financial insecurity that is rampant, but also to make the process of finding a compatible housemate a seamless experience. Our goal is not only to help match homeowners with roommates, but to help foster long term companions that can help ease financial strains on both sides– and make life a little more pleasant all around.
You can learn more about homesharing at Silvernest.com – Silvernest boldly breaks the rules of aging so you can share your home on your own terms. We’re creating the next generation of roommates. A more modern kind. A well-matched kind. A kind that’s just your style. Because around here, the details are totally up to you.