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SN&R: Secure retirement needs more than dreams

By Yvonne Walker

March 11, 2020


Women particularly face challenges in golden years

Are you dreaming of a happy retirement? For women, prospects for their golden years can appear pretty bleak as we are more likely to be poor in retirement than men. It’s no wonder given the fact that we begin and end our careers being paid less than men for the same work. Due to raising families and caring for loved ones (often unpaid), we also have fewer hours in the labor force. Meanwhile, Social Security — what many Californians rely on for their retirement income — as well as pensions are based on earnings and time worked.


Adding to the financial strain, women are more likely to be single as seniors and live longer, meaning we have to make our limited resources stretch that much farther … and often end up homeless or dependent on relatives or strangers for support.


But the plight of poverty is a major problem for all seniors in California, where about half of all workers have no access to a workplace retirement plan.


In response to that, we worked with the state to create CalSavers, a retirement plan for mostly low-wage workers who have no employer-based savings plan such as a pension or 401(k).


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