Women and Aging: An Often-Complicated Journey

Simply stated… women must plan for a long retirement and the possibility of long-term care. Why? You may ask. You might be surprised to learn a 65-year-old female in the US has an average life expectancy of another 20.8 years. Also, a child born in the US in 2007 has a 50% chance of living to be 104! Currently, women outlive men on average of 5.4 years and 67% of Americans over 85 are women. Do these statistics grab your attention? Aging for women is an often complicated journey.

Women must plan for future long-term care

As you can see, it is important to plan for your long-term care needs. Women represent 60% of people utilizing long-term care services and shockingly 2/3 of skilled nursing residents are women.

Over the next couple of weeks, we will examine what women can do to prepare for their futures and some obstacles many encounter while trying to reach their goals.

An easy answer to how you can prepare well is to work longer and save more. Unfortunately, it isn’t as straightforward as it sounds. Some challenges women often face are:

*The Gender “Gaps”

*Caregiving Responsibilities

*Gray Divorce

The “Gaps”

Thankfully times are changing but we still have a long way to go. In 2020 women earned $.81 for every dollar earned by men. Black, Hispanic, and native American women earned even less.

Women are often overlooked and not considered for advancement. Sadly, only 6% of women make it into executive roles during their career.

Over a 40-year career, women earn on average $900k less than men. Women also have a median retirement savings balance of $30,000 and are often in jobs that don’t offer retirement benefits.

Furthermore, women are more likely the primary caregivers to both children and older adults. Many times, it is the woman who pauses her career to become a caregiver which impacts her advancement, benefits, wages, inability to build up Social Security qualifying quarters and allows for fewer years to grow retirement savings.

What is Gray Divorce?

Gray divorce is a term used for a couple who divorces at age 50 and older. Divorces in this age group have doubled since 1990. 34% of adults who divorce over age 50 have been married for more than 30 years. In gray divorce couples, women are usually at a greater financial disadvantage partly due to the above reasons.

In next week’s blog we will explore some solutions to these issues to help women plan for a more secure future so stay tuned.

Hurley Elder Care Law are experts in assisting clients plan for their long-term care needs. We are happy to offer you a complimentary phone consultation at 404-843-0121 to discuss your situation.

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