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Women of Color Facing the Worst: Will the Challenges of Retirement Haunt Till Death?

Dec 14, 2015 04:52 AM EST

The older women are usually in poverty. Around 12.5 percent of the elderly women are poor but the women of color are facing more severe challenges in terms of poverty during retirement. To survive in this competitive world, the women of color are forced to take up any odd job and carry on a much shoddy lifestyle.

According to a blog from Vickie Elisa, Next Avenue contributor, and a 17-year financial educator says, in particular, that one of her clients lost a job with an income of $55,000 annually.  The person had to file bankruptcy without any job and no income while the home is foreclosed and two vehicles repossessed. To go on with life, she had to withdraw the whole retirement plan of 457(b), a plan for both workers at the state and local governments including non-profits. 

She dealt with indignity  and became the victim of loan sharks. She has a $100,000 debt for pursuing her Ph.D. degree which was not completed because of the stress of the impeding house foreclosure, as reported by Forbes news.

The application to around 2,500 jobs was either rejected or few called back offering the least package of $28,000 job. It is a very tough situation for the Women of color; it seems as if a 50-ton mallet is being hit on steroid.

As per the Mocha Moms blog, in a Center for American Progress (CAP) discussion in the Washington DC, the National President of Mocha Moms Inc., Kuae Kelch Mattox revealed that when people talk about balancing work and family, black women are often not a part of the discussion. It harms the overall debate on fundamental economic stability and important issues that affect families. Many women of color are disproportionately affected by public policy, or the lack of, with regard to issues such as paid family leave, raising the minimum wage, paid sick days, working from home, and flexible scheduling.

The more educated and independent women face more racial, ethnicity, and gender problems. The workplace dynamics are difficult to handle and the women of color are categorized as aggressive, lazy and emotional.

Such economic challenges must be addressed and a comprehensive range of solutions and strategies must be initiated using holistic and ecological approaches in order to put an end to the racial disparities.

According to the Administration of Community Living blog, the National Education and Resource Center on Women and Retirement Planning was established with an agreement between AoA (Administration of Aging) and WISER (Women's Institute for a Secure Retirement). The mission of the Center is to provide women with access to a one-stop gateway that integrates financial information and resources for retirement planning, future, health, and long-term care with Older Americans Act Programs.

The retirement planning tools and financial education is being offered by WISER through such an establishment. With such vital initiatives, the center is offering the much needed financial knowledge to the elderly women of color. Numerous publications, newsletters, webinars, interactive are being conducted by the center to educate the women about various financial issues important to them.

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