by Ina Jaffe
Bryant has a little money coming in from retirement accounts. But she still finds herself in line at food banks. It’s not the kind of life she was used to. And she says she was slow to make the adjustment. She had to declare bankruptcy last year. “It threw me,” she says. “I was sort of in bed for a little while trying to figure out how could this have happened.”
None of this is a surprise to Heidi Hartmann, founding president of the Institute for Women’s Policy Research. “Everything that women do in their lives is reflected in their retirement, sad to say,” she says.
Women usually don’t work as much as men, explains Hartmann. “They may take years off to take care of children and older parents.” Add to that women’s lower pay compared with men’s and the result, says Hartmann, is “they receive smaller pensions … and they also receive less Social Security because their earnings were lower.”