WASHINGTON (12/10/08)--Women who are single, separated, or divorced face far greater financial challenges than other Americans, including a substantial income gap and an even greater wealth gap compared with all households.
The Washington, D.C.-based Consumer Federation of America (CFA) analysis was released last week. Researchers used the most recent data collected by the Federal Reserve Board's Survey of Consumer Finances to compare all households with households headed only by a woman. The differences were striking:
Median net worth of women on their own was $32,850, compared with $93,001 for all households;
The typical (median) household income of women on their own was $22,592, compared with $43,130 for all households;
Only one out of three women on their own saves regularly, compared with 41% of all households;
One out of three women on their own doesn't save any money at all, compared with 24% of all households;
Despite reporting a need for emergency funds of $2,500, divorced or separated women reported that only half (50%) had a savings account or money market deposit account. Of those who report having some savings, the average balance was only $1,600, leaving them vulnerable to unexpected expenses and economic woes.
A Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies survey, released in September, revealed that although single women need to have saved $500,000 by retirement age, most women fall far short (USNews.com Sept. 19). One out of three single female respondents had less than $25,000 stashed away for retirement, and only one out of 10 reported having more than $100,000 in savings.
The survey also revealed that saving for retirement was the greatest financial priority for only 17% of single women, putting a significant percentage of women at risk of outliving their money.
For more information, read, "Knowledge, Experience, Action Quell Women's Money Fears" in Home & Family Finance Resource Center.
courtesy of cuna.org