Women Struggle with Economic Inequality throughout Their Lives, Even into Retirement

The National Public Radio article “For Women, Income Inequality Continues into Retirement,” begins with this:

Poverty does not treat men and women equally, especially in old age. Women 65 years old and older who are living in poverty outnumber men in those circumstances by more than 2 to 1. And these women are likely to face the greatest deprivation as they become older and more frail.

The article profiles 87-year old Lydia Smith and notes:

Decades ago, an older woman without much income might have lived with her children, says Heidi Hartmann, president of the Institute for Women’s Policy Research. But now, families are often spread out around the country, and it’s rare for older people to move in with their kids. Hartmann says that women of color, women who are foreign-born and women who live alone like Smith have it the worst.

The article does not offer solutions, unfortunately.

Those in Smith’s situation or those with parents, relatives, and friends in Smith’s situation could benefit from government action, of course, education, and outreach from organizations with resources and strategies to help alleviate poverty among this group of Americans.


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