The MeToo and Black Lives Matter movements have shed significant light on some of the structural inequality we face in America. Incremental progress has been slowed even further by the COVID-19 pandemic. It is hard to believe the dismal statistics showing the financial vulnerability aging women face due to a lifetime of gender inequality. Making things for women even more challenging is their tendency to outlive men (by 5 years). This means funding a longer retirement and more worry about paying for long-term care expenses. The insecurity of today’s employment and economic outlook certainly amplifies these worrisome facts.
Workplace Salary Inequity
Some sobering statistics are that a 75-year-old woman today was making only 60% of her male counterpart’s salary during her working years. Even today, women in Georgia are paid approximately 81 cents for every dollar paid to men. This comes up to a whopping $8,746 on average a year!
Caregiving and Motherhood Penalty
Women are also more likely to become caregivers to children and aging family members, which leads to long periods of interrupted paid employment, and what we refer to as “the motherhood penalty.” For example, if Mom or Dad start to need care, women are generally the ones to push the pause button on their jobs and stay home to take care of their aging parents. This has become especially problematic during this pandemic which will set many women back substantially in their careers. It appeared that the glass ceiling that was starting to shatter will now take a bit longer to break.
Studies have shown that minority women have an even greater wage gap than white women. In Georgia, black women make a stunningly 63 cents for every dollar a white man makes. Add on top of it that 81percent of black women in GA are the primary bread winner. Thus, it is no wonder that minority women often face financial insecurity as they age.
Gray divorce is also a real cause for women needing to plan ahead for retirement and long-term care. When women divorce later in life, it is harder to recover financially, and it diminishes their overall wealth.
What do these facts mean for you?
Well, if you plan ahead then you have more options. We recommend women stay in the workforce longer so you can save more money and can delay social security payments. Also important, is to pay attention to public policy initiatives, make sure you are supporting candidates who are in tune with women’s issues or even run for office yourself. Our team at Hurley Elder Care Law spends a great deal of time working with women to plan for their futures and make sure they have the resources in place to lead comfortable lives as they age. Please call us at 404-843-0121 or visit us at www.hurleyeclaw.com to discuss your options.
Would you like to learn more about exploring ideas for improving women’s lives as they age?
Are you also interested in discussing women’s issues that have resulted from the pandemic and the election year? If so, please join us for a webinar as we discuss these topics on Thursday, Nov. 12 from 9-10am.