Today, Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar is participating in an AARP forum on the unique financial challenges facing Boomer women.  The forum features Sen. Klobuchar and other leading women Members of Congress as well as business leaders discussing how public, business and individual actions can improve financial security for women.

“The role of women has changed dramatically over the past few decades, and much of the credit goes to the women who have come before us and created opportunities, broken down barriers, and paved the way for generations to come,” said Sen. Klobuchar. “Even with this progress, we know that there is still more work to do. That’s why we need to ensure women have access to opportunities and are able to plan, save, and increase their economic and financial security as they approach retirement.”

Klobuchar State Fair

Sen. Klobuchar and AARP Fraud Fighters at the 2013 Minnesota State Fair

Women typically have fewer sources of income in retirement.  This is certainly true in Minnesota.

  • 55.1% of older women in Minnesota rely on Social Security for at least half of their family income, compared to only 46.7% for older men.
  • 27.2% of women seniors in the Gopher State rely on Social Security for 90% or more of their family income, compared to only 19.5% for older men.
  • In 2012, a typical senior woman in Minnesota’s Social Security benefit was equal to 70% of a man’s. Because women spend more time out of the labor force caring for others and earn less money while in the labor force, they typically end up with lower benefits.
  • Without Social Security, 41.0% of older women in Minnesota would live in poverty, compared to 33.2% of older men.

 

“We know for a fact that women collect less from Social Security than men and are more reliant on Social Security than men.  This is a problem because we also know that most women are living longer than men,” said AARP Minnesota’s Federal Affairs Director Amy McDonough.  “Protecting Social Security is vital for boomer women, but we must also maximize their financial planning potential while they are still in the workplace.”

Today’s forum is exploring many possible ways to increase financial security for women in retirement, including:

  • Increasing participation and savings in employer-sponsored retirement savings plans, especially by using automatic enrollment and automatic escalation;
  • Improving opportunities and access to capital for women entrepreneurs;
  • Expanding support for family caregivers, through informal networks, flexible workplace policies and national support programs.
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