On a day of depressing news, here’s something else for you to ponder over: women aged 65 and older in Hawaii are more likely to live in poverty than men of the same age. So says a new report titled “The Economic Security of Older Women and Men in Hawai`i,” released today by the University of Hawaii (the paper is presented by the Institute for Women’s Policy Research).
Here are six key stats we learned from the report:
• Older women in Hawaii receive median annual Social Security benefits of $12,000, about 80 percent of the amount older men receive ($15,158)
• Just 35.5 percent of older women receive income from a pension or retirement savings plan, compared with 47.0 percent of older men
• For those with a pension or retirement savings plan, women’s median annual income is about 60 percent of men’s ($12,596 compared with $21,344)
• Older women’s median annual asset income in Hawaii is about 75 percent of older men’s ($3,900 compared with $5,000)
• Just over nine percent (9.1 percent) of older women in Hawaii live in poverty, compared with 5.8 percent of older men
• The poverty rate of single older women in Hawaii is more than three times higher than the rate for married older women (13.0 percent and 4.1 percent, respectively; Institute for Women’s Policy Research 2016)
“Many of the economic challenges that older women experience stem from inequities that women face earlier in life, including a persistent wage gap, the high cost of child care and a shortage of affordable housing,” said Dr. Colette Browne, the Richard S. and T. Rose Takasaki Endowed Professor in Social Policy at the School of Social Work and author of the report’s recommendations in a June 14 UH press release. “This builds up over the course of a lifetime and limits women’s ability to lay the foundation for economic security in retirement, especially for the many older single women living without a spouse.”
Click here to read the report.
Photo of Colette Brown courtesy the University of Hawaii