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Keeping Older Women Out of Poverty: Social Security and Women Summit

A summit in Manchester will focus today on Social Security and Women and will feature experts from both parties talking about ways to update the program. (AARP-NH).
A summit in Manchester will focus today on Social Security and Women and will feature experts from both parties talking about ways to update the program. (AARP-NH).
June 3, 2016

MANCHESTER, N.H. - Social Security often is called the bedrock of financial security for Granite Staters, and today a summit in Manchester will focus on its benefits for women.

Todd Fahey, state director for AARP New Hampshire, says Social Security plays a key role in keeping older women out of poverty.

He adds widowed older women have the highest rates of reliance on Social Security.

"One quarter of women, ages 65 and older, rely on Social Security for nearly all of their family income," says Fahey. "In 2014, Social Security kept one-third of older women out of poverty, yet they are still more likely to be in poverty than older men."

Fahey says the summit, being held today at the New Hampshire Institute of Politics, will focus on the various solutions being proposed from both parties to update Social Security.

He says if Social Security is not updated, future retires could lose anywhere from $4,000 to as much $10,000 annually by the year 2034.

Fahey says among those featured in Manchester will be experts from AARP, the Heritage Foundation and the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare.

"What's going to happen at the summit is, we are going to have experts from both sides of the aisle talk about some of the common solutions and how we update Social Security," Fahey says. "Those solutions apply equally to men and to women."

Fahey says women are living longer but earn less than men. He says many spend less time in the workforce because they took time out for family, and that has resulted in a benefit gap, with older women coming out on the short end of the stick.

"There is a sizable gap," he says. "The average Social Security benefit for men is about 30 percent higher than for women. Men receive a benefit of roughly 18,000, and women receive a benefit of roughly $14,000 annually."

The Summit is part of AARP's Take a Stand Campaign.

Mike Clifford, Public News Service - NH