Information for Women


About Women

In the United States there are more women (age 65 and above) than there are men, and the proportion of the female population keeps increasing with age. Today, almost 35 million Americans, or one in eight, are age 65 or older, and three out of five are women. Women live an average six years longer than men.

"Not only do women have a longer average life expectancy than men, they tend to marry men older than themselves. Seven out of 10 "baby boomer" women - those born between 1946 and 1964 - are expected to outlive their husbands. Thus, many can expect to be widows for 15 to 20 years."

"America is growing older, and most older Americans are women. Because women are living longer than men, the health, economic, and social challenges which face older Americans are most often the challenges faced by women. The following facts about older women require attention as we prepare to comprehensively address the diverse needs of an aging society." (1).

While women are increasingly outpacing men in college degrees today, there are still some stark realities that women face in America.

Some Facts:

--Most women today will live out their lives as widows, 80 percent of older women live alone. Most women are more likely to be unemployed or work part time in industries that do not offer health insurance benefits.

--The primary source of income for women over the age of 65 will be Social Security.

--Women spend more years and a larger percentage of their lifetimes disabled, they are at a much higher risk of chronic illness and disabling conditions as they age, which will require them to need costly long-term care.

  • --Women make up about 70 percent of all elderly persons with incomes below poverty level, what is even more significant is that more than half of the widows that are now living in poverty were not even poor before the deaths of their husbands. The chance that women will live at or below poverty increases with age.
  • --Women represent 7 out of 10 unpaid caregivers. 

As you can see these are frightening facts concerning women. There are ways that you can address some of these issues so that you do not become one of these statistics. It is especially important for women to plan ahead for future long-term care needs. (1.)




Women as Caregivers

The typical caregiver is an employed 46 year old women who is married and working outside of the home earning an annual income of $35,000 a year. (1.)

For centuries women have been the primary caregivers for long-term care, making up 7 out of 10 unpaid caregivers (3.). Fifty-nine percent of these women work outside their home and still bear the responsibilities of caring for their parents or loved ones. (2.)

Caring for an aged parent has become more difficult for women due to their increased role in the workforce, balancing both can be very challenging. Caregiving can also place a strain on women financially since they often deplete assets paying for the care of their impaired family member, which could then make it difficult to pay for their own long-term care should the need arise.


3. Genworth's study, The Impact of Long Term Care on Women -- An Analysis of Women as Care Providers and Care Recipient


Women and Retirement 

Retirement is another challenging issue for women. With retirement being redefined on a personal level, women may find it challenging to do what they want if they have not planned properly. With women living longer, they will have more years to plan for, possibly even ailments.

Women over the age of 65 have an average income of $10,899 per year. (1.) the statistics below will explain:

  • --Over two-thirds of all working women earn less than $30,000 per year without pensions, women spend an average of 27 years in the workforce compared to men at 40 years. (2.)
--The average retirement income for women in 2004 was $12,080 compared to men's income of $21,102. (2.) 
  • --Half of all women work in low paying jobs without retirement plans or 401K's. (2.)
  • --A single female has an 82 percent chance of outliving her financial assets in retirement. (4.)
  • A women's earnings average $.73 for every $1.00 earned by men, averaging a lifetime loss of over $30,000. (1.). 

Women are 71 percent more likely than men to live below the poverty line in retirement. When you compare unmarried women to married couples, the statistics are more shocking - single women are four times more likely than couples to live in poverty. This article offers more information regarding retirement issues for women - Why Women Face a Retirement Crisis.

Women are especially dependent on Social Security, making up 57 percent of all aged Social Security beneficiaries aged 62 and older and about 69 percent of beneficiaries 85 and older. The average Social Security benefits in 2007 were $10,685 for women and $14,055 for men. (3)




Women's Health

 At the turn of the century, most women did not live past menopause. Public health interventions and applied medical research have extended their lives significantly since then, but for many post menopausal women this longer life has meant more years of poor health and dependency. (1) Women, more so than men, have to be concerned about breast cancer and heart disease. Even though most of us would think breast cancer would be the leading cause of death among women, it has been shown that heart disease is the leading cause of death among American women. In fact heart disease has killed more women then all forms of cancer combined.(2) Ovarian cancer is the fourth most frequent cause of death of american women, often symptomless until it is widespread. (2)

More than 19 million Americans, with women being the greatest percentage, suffer from an anxiety disorder that disrupts their lives. In addition, women are twice as likely to suffer from major depression. (2)

Since older women are at a much higher risk of chronic disease and disabling conditions as they age, they are more likely to require costly long-term care. Women need to concentrate on preventing chronic and disabling conditions such as osteoporosis, hypertension, and heart disease by living a healthy lifestyle, with regular exercise, not smoking, and good nutrition. (3)

1. http:///


Women and Money

Women today are continuing to change the face of our economy. Women now represent 55% of college graduates and 58% of new business owners, and yet women still struggle to feel financially secure. One of the biggest challenges women have to face is being able to reach old age without depleting their resources or not having enough money to live their remaining lives.

Statistically, women outlive men, however they continue to invest less and most women are not properly prepared for retirement. Yet, women still tend to work fewer years than men and make less money. While most women do face greater challenges than men, the good news is that women's attitudes about money and investing are beginning to change due to our economic realities.

--Women over the age of 70 are twice as likely as men to live in poverty. (Source: US Census 2000)
--The average age of a widow is 58. 43% of women over 50 say they are putting together a retirement financial strategy (source: Lovett-
Reid Research)
--Women in their 50's and 60's are at the height of their earning power. (source: Lovett-Reid Research)

All this information came from - Article Source: