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Elderly woman
Thanks to lower wages, more time out of the paid workforce, and longer lives, retirement-age women are more likely to be poor than men of the same age:
On average, women 65 years and older rely on a median income of around $16,000 a year—roughly $11,000 less than men of the same age, according to a Congressional analysis of Census data. And many elderly women rely exclusively on Social Security benefits.
The poverty rate for all people 65 and older is 11 percent for women, compared with 6.5 percent for men. In a sorry statement about the intersection of race and gender, there's much less of a gender gap for Asian and Latino people—but Asian senior men have an 11.6 percent poverty rate compared to an 11.9 percent poverty rate for Asian senior women, while the numbers are 19.1 percent and 21.8 percent for Latinos.

Years women spend outside the paid workforce caring for children, aging parents, and sick family members have enormous value—just think about what it would cost to replace that unpaid work, done overwhelmingly by women, with paid help, even at the shockingly low wages such workers typically get. But not only is that work unpaid while it's being done, it leaves women with lower Social Security benefits as well as lower savings.

Our current system isn't working for women, and the senior poverty statistics now are just the beginning. There's a serious retirement crisis coming, and women and people of color are poised to be hit the hardest. Leaning in isn't going to be enough to fix it, either.

Originally posted to Daily Kos Labor on Wed May 14, 2014 at 08:23 AM PDT.

Also republished by Hunger in America, Sexism and Patriarchy, In Support of Labor and Unions, and Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  We need more RAGING Grannies. I mean people who (10+ / 0-)

    are REALLY pissed off!

    Then, they need to read the riot act to politicians.

    Then vote like their lives depend on it.

    •  We also need more men taking responsibility (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      LSophia, churchylafemme, kkkkate

      for the women that have stood by their sides for decades. It is reality that most of us men will die before our spouses. It is our responsibility to see that they have the resources that they need after we are gone.

      When the F**K are we going to wake up and do something about this mess?

      by keyscritter on Sat May 17, 2014 at 05:41:36 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  this is another case (8+ / 0-)

    where the importance of unions is seen.  i worked for a union company for 40 years, in what had traditionally been a "man's" position until 1977 when some federal labor laws were changed.  i retired after 40 years with a pension that i hope will take care of me and my mr. who has no such benefits.  if the company had not been unionized, i may not have been able to get that job position, or i may have been paid less to do it, and i may not have had any benefits such as a pension.  unions help all workers, but especially women, avoid poverty, as i see it from my experience.

    "I am an old woman, named after my mother. my old man is another child who's grown old." John Prine (not an old woman)

    by art ah zen on Wed May 14, 2014 at 08:58:53 AM PDT

    •  While I won't disparage the importance of unions, (5+ / 0-)

      I feel it's important to recognize that you can't unionize the kind of unpaid work that women are expected to do in the home.

      •  no fault divorce (6+ / 0-)

        left older women who'd been homemakers and didn't have jobs that paid in dire straits.  It made sense for lots of reasons, but it hasn't been a good thing for many women.  Aggressive ex-husbands who hid assets, and didn't care about paying any more than required child support and sometimes not even that, left mom's going through meager savings to help their kids get through college.  

        And these are the same moms who often care for their aging parents as well.

        No surprise, lower wages, inconsistent earnings, most economic responsibilities and no fault divorce.

        plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose

        by anna shane on Sat May 17, 2014 at 02:12:50 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Absolutely right (9+ / 0-)

          And then add to that the lower wages they'll earn when they enter the workplace, the vastly less number of years they'll work if they're lucky enough to work for a place that has a pension, and the lower number of years they'll have to save for retirement and you have the avalanche of horror that women face.

          I know several women who have faced divorce when they were in their 40s and 50s and the circumstances they face are dire.  Often, they receive the "house" in the divorce settlement, but if hubby has been paying the bills, likely no bills were paid in months before filing for divorce.  Even those with jobs can't make up all those payments and face foreclosure.

          Similarly, they're left with months of unpaid utilities and insurance, wiped out bank accounts, and maxed out credit cards in what seems to be a strategically planned "stick it to her" formula that each of those husbands followed.  One woman came home from work to find her husband waiting in his car to hand her the divorce papers and entered her home finding that he had emptied the entire house of its contents.

          Even if they are working a full-time job, they're usually lower earners because of pay inequality.

          It's horrifying.

          There already is class warfare in America. Unfortunately, the rich are winning.

          by Puddytat on Sat May 17, 2014 at 02:40:59 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Im not following (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          anna shane

          It almost sounds like you are suggesting they should have stayed in bad marriages.  I don't think that is really your point so I am asking - how are no fault divorces an issue?

          It is well that war is so terrible -- lest we should grow too fond of it. Robert E. Lee

          by ksuwildkat on Sat May 17, 2014 at 03:20:11 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  no, or the other one either (6+ / 0-)

            there are good reasons for no-fault but no-fault hurts the women married many years economically. When it was fault, the injured party, usually the woman, could get more out of the marriage, with no fault it's community property, 50/50.  And bad men are good at hiding assets, when it's their own earnings. It is one of the factors in the higher poverty rates for women.  

            plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose

            by anna shane on Sat May 17, 2014 at 03:44:19 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Interesting (0+ / 0-)

              I just had to google this.  I had no idea that no-fault was not universal.  New York is the last state without no fault divorces.  I wonder if anyone has looked into the economic impacts on divorcees in New York vs the rest of the country.  

              It will be interesting to see how our divorce laws evolve over the next 50 years.  Simple demographics for university enrollment indicates that 20-50 years from now women will likely out earn men as an overall population.  I wonder how many women will be in favor of 50/50 splits when they are the high GDP half of the marriage.  

              It is well that war is so terrible -- lest we should grow too fond of it. Robert E. Lee

              by ksuwildkat on Sat May 17, 2014 at 04:01:48 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  oh now it also works the other way (5+ / 0-)

                most everyone prefers no fault, women aren't in favor of fault divorce, but it means that your partner has to be honest, and that isn't always the case.  I had a female scientist friend who was married to a mostly unemployed man for over 20 years. there were no children, and she liked him, but he decided he wanted out, and he gets spousal support for life.

                Women spend more on our kids, and on our parents.  The buck often stops with us, so in addition to having to split a home, and often get considerably less than half (see above comments), women also have more financial responsibilities. And men who are high earners often marry again and have more children. It isn't unusual for a child of the first marriage to see a huge discrepancy in income between their mother and father.

                plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose

                by anna shane on Sat May 17, 2014 at 04:25:15 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  growing up in California (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  anna shane

                  kinda messes you up when you leave the state.  I thought no-fault was the norm, not an exception.  

                  I need to correct my earlier post - New York has no fault as of 2010 but it is a bit more complicated than some states.  

                  I hear you on spousal support for men being real today but it is still relatively rare compared to spousal support for women - hence the impact on senior poverty.  I just wonder what the impact will be on laws in the future when the rate of spousal support reaches 50/50.  I predict you will see some form of "input" test being applied.  I don't know if that is a good thing or a fair thing but I think it will be a thing.  

                  It is well that war is so terrible -- lest we should grow too fond of it. Robert E. Lee

                  by ksuwildkat on Sat May 17, 2014 at 05:13:05 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  probably not (3+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    ksuwildkat, LSophia, ladybug53

                    it's been law in California for many years, I think 40 or more, it's by formula, how many years of marriage, incomes of both parties. Some rich guys get totally nuts, George Carlin was ordered to pay his ex-wife half his earnings for ten years, and so he didn't work for ten years and he died not too long after he went back to working. And she had his kids.  He just thought he was worth more cause he earned more and didn't think he should have to share.  

                    My scientist friend knew she was a chump when she stayed married to her unemployed husband, cause he was also a cheat and she knew it, we used to talk about it, but she thought he'd stick with her, and she was wrong.  He got a live-in young woman he'll never marry because he'd have to give up his spousal support. Seems he's a creep, not just unwilling to work.  But I bet he'll go back to her when he's old and sick, and I also bet she'll take him back. He's her child.

                    It's a leap of faith to get married.  But for the woman, if she has children, it's a bigger leap. The biggest problems are when neither made that much, there isn't enough for the split to cover two, and the man can keep working and earning more, and she probably can't.  Or he goes deadbeat and she has the kids and can't work.  It all adds to the greater poverty for old women statistics.  

                    if people would just stop being mean to each other?  

                    plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose

                    by anna shane on Sat May 17, 2014 at 05:31:08 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  I was more looking at community property (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      anna shane, LSophia

                      I think what we will see is something closer to "you produced X% of the income over the course of the marriage and are entitled to that same percentage of the community property"

                      I agree that the real problem is people being total jerks to each other.  

                      It is well that war is so terrible -- lest we should grow too fond of it. Robert E. Lee

                      by ksuwildkat on Sat May 17, 2014 at 05:41:14 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  can't (2+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        alice kleeman, LSophia

                        a marriage is community property, it's a contract, just like a business.  Splitting it by what each person 'contributed' would be a bigger nightmare than determining fault, would be a lawyer's wet dream.  When incomes are equal it sort of is that way, but by accident.  

                        For women to bridge the difference we'd need both equal pay and some kind of payment for the years in the home.

                        plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose

                        by anna shane on Sat May 17, 2014 at 06:01:44 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

              •  Hate to disagree... (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                jbsoul, ladybug53

                But, just because more women are enrolled in/graduating from universities does not mean that women will be earning more than men.  Historically, men who graduate with the same degrees as their female counterparts are paid more & have more opportunities for professional development & advancement.  Given current attitudes about Equal Pay legislation, I see no reason for that to change in the near future, sadly.

                •  50 years not 5 (0+ / 0-)

                  50 years is a long time.  50 years ago we were an agrarian/heavy manufacturing economy.  Today we are a knowledge economy.  Who knows where we will be 50 years from now but I can almost guarantee you we will not be an agrarian/heavy manufacturing economy.  

                  While I agree that in the OVERALL job market women are paid less when you look at some parts of the economy women have reached pay parity already.  This was not a policy decision or a legal decision but a simple business decision - I need X type of highly educated people.  The available male population is X-Y.  I either hire Y females or I pay above market for Y males.  But every other business is stuck in the same situation so the demand for Y often exceeds the supply creating price pressures (wages) and causing pay parity.  

                  Experts take time to build.  If you are IBM and you want an electrical engineer with 20 years experience in 2039 you start trolling high schools right now because that is where you are going to find them.  College graduating class of 2014 is your expert workforce of 2034 and guess what, that die is cast.  You are either going to hire woman at a competitive wage or you are going out of business.  

                  It is well that war is so terrible -- lest we should grow too fond of it. Robert E. Lee

                  by ksuwildkat on Sun May 18, 2014 at 08:52:02 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Ok... (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    ksuwildkat

                    I'm not sure where this "pay parity" has been achieved, but it would make welcome news, I'm sure, to all of the women devalued in every other sector of the job market.  Also, if you think a few women graduating from college in degrees attractive to IBM is going to solve the problem, what do you say to all of the women for whom a pricey college education is not an option.  Typically, discrimination leads to women receiving training for lower-paying technical jobs, such as cosmotology or child care, while men enroll in plumbing and as electricians.  And, claiming that educational gaps are the only explanation for gender wage disparity is like claiming oil is the reason for all of the tension in the Middle East - it is over-simplistic.  You are missing key components, such as the fact that women are discriminated against for giving birth to and being the primary caregivers of their children.  If we want to address gender pay disparity, we must address educational & training opportunities, it is true.  But we must also address affordable child care, the availability of paid time off & FMLA, & the end to hiring & pay decisions that discriminate based on race or gender - and now, not in 5 years or 50.  If the "market" won't do the right thing now, of its own accord, that's what the law is for.

                    •  No arguement here (0+ / 0-)

                      and I base my arguments on theory.  On the other hand I think same sex partner benefits provides a good model.  Look at any tech company and you will find almost that almost every one offers comprehensive benefits for same sex partners.  This did not take legal action and in fact in the case of California based companies it was actually contrary to the law (prop 8) for a time.  During the period that sex sex marriages were forbidden in California I dont know of a single company that dropped existing same sex partner - marriage or simply declared partnership - benefits.  As much as I would like to believe they did this because it was the right and moral thing, I think it was actually a practical business decision.  Bottom line is that being a discriminatory company in the tech industry will cause a brain drain and eventual destruction of your company (See Brendan Eich and Mozilla).  These same policies have spread to other companies outside of tech because of the scorn effect and the threat of economic isolation(boycott).

                      What I think you will see happen is that as companies become more and more reliant on high skill female workers they will adjust their policies ACROSS THE BOARD - not just for high skill workers.  So not only will IBM adopt the policy but they will insist their subcontractors, right down to the day care providers, do the same.  This will start a virtuous cycle where companies with positive policies preform better causing their competition to either adopt similar policies (just to keep up) or face a brain drain/public scorn.  

                      Where I will disagree is that choices like having children should not be considered in hiring or promotions.  How is it fair to a woman who chooses NOT to have children that another woman who does and takes a year of FML should be promoted on the same timeline?  Bottom line is we all make career decisions.  I made ones in my career that I knew would limit how far I would be promoted.  It was a choice and I made it.  I dont begrudge my peers who made other choices that would lead to them being promoted above me.  It is how life works, especially in highly competitive work environments.  

                      It is well that war is so terrible -- lest we should grow too fond of it. Robert E. Lee

                      by ksuwildkat on Mon May 19, 2014 at 11:12:45 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

          •  The point is that women cannot NOT work (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            LSophia

            A women who doesn't work, can expect to end up destitute unless she handles money extremely well and take enough from the family pot to create her retirement.  We saw this whole thing play with women from the 50s.  I hoped I'd never see it again, and here we are.

            Newt 2012. Sociopath, adulterer, hypocrite, Republican.

            by tikkun on Sat May 17, 2014 at 06:57:51 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  This (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              tikkun

              My grandmother was widowed before I was born.  My mother and father divorced when I was a teenager.

              I went into the employment world determined to NEVER stop working.  Since I don't have anyone to support me in case of an emergency, my family would never expect me to quit working and take care of someone else - I'd be expected to do my share, but it would be structured around the notion that I would have to keep working.

              Fortunately, thus far, it hasn't come up.  I am very fortunate.

  •  So cutting Social Security is wrong (3+ / 0-)

    Leaders in the women's movement are still on guard to prevent attempts to cut SS and Medicare. They know its still on the table.

    Well, at least these low income, retired women can take comfort in knowing they have access to coverage for birth control and abortions, right?

    Money is property, not speech. Overturn Citizens United.

    by Betty Pinson on Wed May 14, 2014 at 09:38:06 AM PDT

  •  It was closer to 50% pre Social Security. (6+ / 0-)

    Not saying it's good (and I'm one of those who in a few years will be depending on Social Security - and less than that median), but it's a s***-load better than what my grandmothers face.  So yes, we need to do some serious work here - partly just to protect the progress we're already made - to get women out of poverty while appreciating the work already done by our parents and grandparents.  

  •  Living the American Dream... (3+ / 0-)

    ...sure.


    I’m not a big fan of vegetable gardens. Like my chickens, I prefer my salads to be cage free.

    by glb3 on Wed May 14, 2014 at 10:24:25 AM PDT

  •  Been in poverty most of my adult life (4+ / 0-)

    Expect to be until I die. Only good side, by the point that I'm considered 'elderly' I may be a bit better off than now because I won't have two children to support as well. But I don't expect, at this point, that I will ever be 'well off' or able to do most of the things I'd like to do.

    "Madness! Total and complete madness! This never would've happened if the humans hadn't started fighting one another!" Londo Mollari

    by FloridaSNMOM on Wed May 14, 2014 at 10:50:03 AM PDT

  •  Older women really need to team up (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    FloridaSNMOM, Sunspots, Dvalkure, Odysseus

    and pool resources to their mutual betterment. I have known any number of older women, a conglomerate of single, widowed and divorced, who live alone who really ought to explore the option of living with a friend(s) or cohort(s) in a similar situation. Sharing overhead, sharing food costs, plus the society and companionship could have a massive positive upside.

    “Human kindness has never weakened the stamina or softened the fiber of a free people. A nation does not have to be cruel to be tough.” FDR

    by Phoebe Loosinhouse on Wed May 14, 2014 at 11:29:58 AM PDT

    •  I don't know about living in ! But then (3+ / 0-)

      I have a tiny house that's paid for and I like my solitude a lot. But it's a very good idea for women without a paid-off home.

       I am single and getting to be elderly, and an only child. What I worry about is support as I age, with only a very ditsy and distant younger cousin to be helping me make decisions and/or advocating for me if I'm too sick. One hopes friends will do it, but can't count on it. And feel awkward to ask this of a friend. It seems a lot to ask of someone who has a family of siblings and children.

       Lately I've been looking around at the number of older, childless people (I would not limit it to women ) who are in the same boat and I think of setting up a sort of club or formalized group to do this sort of thing for one another. I don't know - it's just something that's been on my mind.

       I'm an artist and an old non-materialist hippie, so I never have made a lot of money. I'll be living on soc sec in a few years - plus whatever I can make from artwork. (hahaha ! )

       In trying to figure out how I would live I came to the conclusion that I'll be able to afford either my car or my dog, but not both !!!

       Still, I am glad as hell that SS is there.

      P.S. the dog wins.

      Only the cool die young ~ R.I.P. my Stevie an Turcotte

      by Dvalkure on Wed May 14, 2014 at 02:10:10 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Even tiny houses can be shared and (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        FloridaSNMOM

        as time continues, you may grow to appreciate company more than your solitude. I simply throw that out.

        I think I may share much of your esthetic as I would describe myself as another aging non-materialistic hippy who enjoys solitude just as much as company.

        But I have also seen solitude turn into hermitage and eccentricity in some friends of my parents and I have that on my watchlist of things to attempt to avoid in my own "golden years" as they grow ever nearer.

        I think you should approach your friends about creating a safety net/shared resource network for one another. Sometimes we have to create what we need, and if we need it so do others.

        Best wishes to you!

        “Human kindness has never weakened the stamina or softened the fiber of a free people. A nation does not have to be cruel to be tough.” FDR

        by Phoebe Loosinhouse on Wed May 14, 2014 at 02:40:35 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Another good reason to 'team up' is safety (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Phoebe Loosinhouse

          There will be another person there in a reasonable amount of time, if you fall and hurt yourself, or you have a stroke. When I was on my OTA internship I had several patients who lived alone, and had lain there injured for days, and nearly died from the result when all they had was a broken hip (one fell outside behind a bush on a Friday, he wasn't found until Monday when the mailman went up to the house to deliver a package). Sure, there are medical alert things out there (I've fallen and I can't get up), but if you're an elder living in poverty will you be able to afford one?

          There will also be another there to split cleaning and food prep duties, which can be hugely helpful after illness, injury, or needed surgery.

          "Madness! Total and complete madness! This never would've happened if the humans hadn't started fighting one another!" Londo Mollari

          by FloridaSNMOM on Wed May 14, 2014 at 03:02:24 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Something as simple as a network of friends (0+ / 0-)

            who agree to call each other every day  or twice a day can be a cheap alternative to a paid alarm  service.

            Or subscribe to the daily paper and ask a neighbor to check if they notice a  paper isn't retrieved. We cal all help each other and most would be happy to if asked.

            “Human kindness has never weakened the stamina or softened the fiber of a free people. A nation does not have to be cruel to be tough.” FDR

            by Phoebe Loosinhouse on Wed May 14, 2014 at 05:52:45 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  You are right, Phoebe (0+ / 0-)

          BUT ! I am talking really small - under 600 sq. feet ! A 'room mate' would be either sharing my only bedroom (which is 224 sq. ft. and also my art studio ) or sleeping on the couch. I do wish I had room to share.

           I agree about the dangers of hermitage - on mental as well as physical health, it is also a concern of mine.

           Thanks for the good wishes ! You have mine, as well.

          Only the cool die young ~ R.I.P. my Stevie an Turcotte

          by Dvalkure on Wed May 21, 2014 at 10:20:49 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  i'm an only child too (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        missississy, ladybug53

        and have been thinking along the same lines

        i have problems with social support even now, so what will happen when I am 15-20 years older?

        Politics is like driving. To go backward put it in R. To go forward put it in D.
        DEMAND CREATES JOBS!!!
        Drop by The Grieving Room on Monday nights to talk about grief.

        by TrueBlueMajority on Sat May 17, 2014 at 03:38:39 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  I've recently been widowed (0+ / 0-)

      With a paid for house now, and considered a roommate, but don't know that I want to have to deal with another person being around when I want my solitude. I really like time to myself.



      Women create the entire labor force.
      ---------------------------------------------
      Sympathy is the strongest instinct in human nature. - Charles Darwin

      by splashy on Thu May 15, 2014 at 06:37:43 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Heart breakingly (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TrueBlueMajority, dandy lion

    Lisa told me the other week that she hopes she dies before I do because she is afraid of being homeless.

    “We can always count on the Americans to do the right thing, after they have exhausted all the other possibilities.” - Winston Chuchill

    by se portland on Sat May 17, 2014 at 02:14:00 PM PDT

  •  Strange this -- My mother is one of those, though (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Gooserock

    she is fortunate to have both SS and a pension, so she does better than many.

    But -- I can't help but think this:

    Wonder how that will look in 10-20 years?

    Doesn't do the current group of elderly women any good, but think about it:

    Somebody turning 65 today was 21 in 1970.  A whole lotta forward progess took place in that time, but the cumulative effect likely is that she's just plain screwed.

    However, her daughters?
    Better. Definitely better.

    LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

    by dinotrac on Sat May 17, 2014 at 02:15:05 PM PDT

  •  This was written in 1977.... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TrueBlueMajority, KayCeSF, tikkun

    ...we've learned nothing.

    "Wealthy the Spirit which knows its own flight. Stealthy the Hunter who slays his own fright. Blessed is the Traveler who journeys the length of the Light."

    by CanisMaximus on Sat May 17, 2014 at 02:20:43 PM PDT

  •  ah, America (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    missississy, jbsoul

    I'm 59 and have it better than many but it's precarious for us all

    This was a grand scheme - the Plutos couldn't allow the giant boomer bubble have too much carefree time - must nuture insecurity at all cost

    We might catch on

    We didn't stand up and it may be too late

    by pnchad on Sat May 17, 2014 at 02:24:35 PM PDT

  •  If Repubs Were a Conservative Party They'd Agree (7+ / 0-)

    to alter women's Social Security such that mothering years outside the work force --and maybe mothering years in cutback earning such as part time or jobs outside their main careers-- would be counted toward SS and calculated at at least the average of their earning over non child rearing years.

    What Republican would contend that Holy Motherhood is not hard, deserving work?

    --Answer, all who are left behind in the Republican Party of the 21st Century.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Sat May 17, 2014 at 02:27:17 PM PDT

  •  It seems we are always hit hardest by (6+ / 0-)

    economic downturns. Hit the first, the hardest, and take the longest to recover.

    and women and people of color are poised to be hit the hardest
  •  COLA should be adjusted so there is a greater (8+ / 0-)

    percentage boost for those at the lower end (predominately women who have worked all their lives by paid unequally) and a lesser percentage for those at the higher end.

    The current flat COLA keeps increasing the inequities.

    A tweak in the COLA would help significantly, be easy enough to do, and wouldn't have to cost an extra dime.

  •  Having now passed the 3/4 century mark, (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TrueBlueMajority, KayCeSF

    I can vouch. Most especially hard hit in the "great recession" were the widows, even those who had been prudent in planning for retirement...many of us really afraid we'll outlive our means.

    interestingly, a couple of financial institutions have finally gotte around to making tv ads about the BIG Q

    "Show up. Pay attention. Tell the truth. And don't be attached to the results." -- Angeles Arrien

    by Sybil Liberty on Sat May 17, 2014 at 03:11:00 PM PDT

  •  Emily's List working against women's issues (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    2dot, tikkun, peregrine kate, ladybug53

    They've endorsed conserva-dem Colleen Hanabusa for Senate against incumbant, Sen Brian Schatz JUST BECAUSE SHE'S A WOMAN.

    But Hanabusa is in the New Democrat Coalition and supports Simpson Bowles (cuts to COLA, raising the age of retirement)

    Sen Schatz is sponsoring the "Strengthening Social Security Act" to insure that people earning over $117,000/year pay their fair share of FICA tax (they get away scott free on anything over $117,000 currently) and making sure that no one will have an excuse to cut SS.

    (Incidentally Schatz has been much better on choice too)

    So, yes, the grammas in Hawai'i ARE rising up and are HOPPING MAD at Emily's List for selling us out.

    •  How's Schatz on foreign policy, war, empire, etc.? (0+ / 0-)

      The late Sen. Dan Inouye cemented his leading role in both the Islands and in Washington by totally embracing defense spending and the military-industrial complex, making it his "kuleana."

      Would Sen. Schatz's Jewish background give him any special insights into the conflicts in the Middle East?

      The Dutch kids' chorus Kinderen voor Kinderen wishes all the world's children freedom from hunger, ignorance, and war. ♥ ♥ ♥ Forget Neo — The One is Minori Urakawa

      by lotlizard on Mon May 19, 2014 at 04:24:35 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  i know. this frightens me (4+ / 0-)

    i have no savings because I was so morose and depressed as a young adult that I did not expect to live to retirement age

    Now that I can see it hurtling toward me all too fast, I am terrified of whether I will be able to afford to retire

    Politics is like driving. To go backward put it in R. To go forward put it in D.
    DEMAND CREATES JOBS!!!
    Drop by The Grieving Room on Monday nights to talk about grief.

    by TrueBlueMajority on Sat May 17, 2014 at 03:34:23 PM PDT

  •  The FED (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    2dot, alice kleeman, jbsoul

    The FED hates all seniors and doesn't believe anyone should be able to earn any interest on their savings.

    Apparently the idea of making any return on their money is too much for the Fed to handle.

    Instead they insist on a perpetual zero interest rate so the wealthy elite and federal govt can borrow at nothing forever and screw anyone who would like to make any money on their savings in a safe vehicle like CD's.

    The zero interest rate forces seniors to turn to risky wallstreet investment vehicles if they hope to ever see a dime of return on their money.

    It is heinous, and the government is right there in bed with them because the debt is such that they can't afford for interest rates to ever approach historical norms because interest payments would swallow the budget alive in the way we finance our debt.

    So they team up to hurt seniors as a whole, and women just happen to be collateral damage.

    The zero interest rate is an untalked about scourge on this entire country.

  •  Tipped Minimum wage (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    2dot, ladybug53

    One more reason to eliminate tipped minimum wage.

    My first jobs were in food service - as a cook at A&W and then a dishwasher at Peppermill.  Peppermill was my introduction to tipped minimum wage.  My waitress co-workers made very little from their paychecks (about 1/3 what I made) but much more overall because of tips.  Now I am SURE all of them reported every dime and paid the additional Social Security on their tipped wages……..

    When I look at my Social Security benefits report I see every dime I have ever earned.  But if you worked in a tipped minimum wage job for an extended period of time and just happened to not report 100% of all your tips, you are much more likely to be at or near the minimum in Social Security.  

    And lets not even talk about how few tipped minimum wage jobs have a 401K……

    Time to end the tipped minimum wage.

    It is well that war is so terrible -- lest we should grow too fond of it. Robert E. Lee

    by ksuwildkat on Sat May 17, 2014 at 04:09:21 PM PDT

  •  This has always been true and it is why (0+ / 0-)

    Social Security and Medicare were implemented in the first place, and why Pension survivorship rights were also implemented. Old ladies eating cat food was not just an Urban myth, it was the truth,  until our Government, and our collective conscience, decided we could do better. We really can do better, all of us. And we have! It's just a matter of reminding ourselves why we implemented these programs to begin with, and then accepting that we really are good people, capable of rational and compassionate ideals and action.

  •  We're Investigating (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ladybug53

    neighborhood sharing of workers for things like house cleaning, pet care, check ins, and a nurse to check general health (with the right to call the doc if someone isn't doing well.)  Many of us own our own urban homes among neighbors we truly enjoy in a very walkable town.  We would prefer to stay in them until it's not an option.

    Newt 2012. Sociopath, adulterer, hypocrite, Republican.

    by tikkun on Sat May 17, 2014 at 07:09:58 PM PDT

  •  Which is why I save like a squirrel with OCD. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ladybug53

    Every time some woman says to me, "You don't have kids? But who's gonna take care of you when you're old?" my response is "Probably those four retirement funds I'm socking cash into right now."

    “[Sir Arthur Conan Doyle] created Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson - which proves he was way ahead of his time on gay marriage.” - Bill Maher

    by gardnerhill on Sun May 18, 2014 at 02:37:24 AM PDT

  •  $16,000 is the high end...many are living on (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ladybug53

    less than $12,000 SS benefits and are finding that their pensions were shorted or unfunded for years so if they are lucky, they get $75 or $100 per month for 30 years of service.  Many cannot qualify for SNAP because they are $1.00 YES..ONE dollar over the "income limit"....

    Something needs to be done, but our Republicans in Congress would rather waste time and money on Benghazi!

  •  Far more men have been in the military, hence (0+ / 0-)

    have VA health care.
    Health care is what people need.
    Health insurance will make you poor.  

  •  There are some financial drawbacks (0+ / 0-)

    When deciding to share a house there are a number of financial things to consider. First, the insurance goes up with another person moving in, not just a little but between a half and two thirds more. It pays to have four or five in a larger house economically. Second, You lose widows' property tax reductions. Third, what are you going to do when a person is not able to pay or simply uses her money for something else? What if the owner dies or goes into a nursing home? Those are the financials.

    The social ones are even more difficult. You each have a different circle of friends. If there are 3-6 of you when one goes out, not a big deal, but what when 4 of 5 go out? That is a social strain on a housemate that can turn everything sour. Who keeps the car and pays for maintenance and insurance? Who's turn is it to take it to go to the doctor or into the city to shop?
    Then there's the chores. I suggest a weekly housecleaner and a yard person to do the yard and the snow blowing. Who's going to cook, shop? Eating separately is more expensive and usually less nutritious but never getting what you're hungry for isn't fun either.
    So find a couple of compatible people who like to do the things like cooking or baking or driving you don't like to do who can contribute enough to share. Make a contract that accounts for people not wanting or being able to stay. Good luck and do let us know how it goes

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