Women generally earn lower wages than men, take more time out of the labor force for care giving, have smaller pensions and savings, and have longer life spans. As a result, achieving retirement security is especially challenging for women.
Women are far more likely to be poor than men. And indeed, without Social Security benefits, nearly half of all women 65 and older would be poor. For more than one in three unmarried women (divorced, widowed, or never married) age 65 and over, Social Security provides 90 percent or more of their family income. But, even with Social Security, over one of every six elderly women living alone is poor.
Social Security reforms should ensure adequate benefits for future generations and improve the economic security of women, especially those older women who are most likely to be living in poverty.
To learn more about the Center’s retirement security work and view additional resources, visit our website.