Poverty and the Gender Gap?

When it comes to retirement, a financial gender gap exists, according to a new Congressional analysis of Census data. Older women have double the risk of living in poverty relative to men in the same age group, says the Congressional report, which was featured on CNN.

Several factors — longer life spans for women, lower income levels and smaller savings – contribute to higher poverty rates during the retirement years.

For those on a tight budget, preventive medicine and wellness programs can save lives and money, according to national research. Greater use of health screenings, stop-smoking programs and other wellness initiatives could save  “$3.7 billion, or 0.2 percent of U.S. personal health care spending,” according to a report published by the National Institutes of Health.

Here are the facts from the new data:

  • Age 65 and older: About 6.6 percent of men, but 11 percent of women age 65 and older live in poverty.
  • Marital status: The gap narrows for married women, with 4.9 percent of older married women living in poverty compared to 4.7 percent of married men, 65 and older.  That gulf is more evident for women who are widowed (14.5 percent in poverty), divorced (17.1 percent), separated (35.5 percent) and never married (23.2 percent).
  • Racial disparity: The post-retirement gender gap is amplified by race, with 21.3 percent of African-American women and 21.8 percent of Hispanic women living below the poverty line. 

The following news roundup includes tips about living longer and healthier.



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