Friday, May 1, 2009

What does elder economic security mean for Connecticut?

Our Connecticut partner, the Connecticut Permanent Commission on the Status of Women share their thoughts today on what elders need to be economically secure.

April 28th is National Pay Equity Day, May is older Americans month. Here in Connecticut, we understand that this is no coincidence.

Just as in a calendar year April precedes May, in the timeline of a woman’s life, issues of pay equity precede imbalanced life circumstances come retirement. The statistics of the wage gap are clear.
  • Women in Connecticut earn 78 cents for every dollar a man makes for the same work.
  • Over her lifetime a woman with a high school degree will earn $700,000 less than a man with a high school degree.
  • A woman with a college degree will earn $1.2 million less than a man with a college degree over her lifetime.
  • A woman with an advanced degree will earn $2 million less than a man with an advanced degree over her lifetime.

These inequities add up over a lifetime-it would take a woman with typical earnings fifteen years to achieve the same life savings as a man. These savings are necessary to supplement social security in retirement. Social Security alone does not make ends meet.

  • The average Social Security benefit for a single woman in Connecticut is $12,600 per year, and nearly one half of older Connecticut women rely solely on this for their income.
  • Without additional retirement savings this leaves a gap between what’s needed and what’s earned that ranges between $7,000 - $40,000 dollars.

As we celebrate Older Americans Month this year, we know it is impossible not to connect the wage gap to the struggle to ensure economic security for older adults. Here in Connecticut We are dedicated to working towards economic security for women and their families throughout the lifespan.

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