Let’s face it. There is still a glass ceiling. Of course, women have made advances in every profession, and today girls are graduating from college in greater numbers than men.
However, the income gap is still in place. Women still take time off to have and raise children, become the caretakers later in life, and pay the same bills as the men with less to go around.
For the baby boomer and silent generations of women who grew up in an age when the professional opportunities were fewer, and personal savings, 401K’s and retirement nest eggs were paltry; the situation is especially challenging, scary and overwhelming.
According to Kerry Hannon at the New York Times, “Across all age groups, women have considerably less income in retirement than men, according to a report from the National Institute on Retirement Security. For women age 65 and older, their income is typically 25 per cent lower than that of men. As men and women age, the gap widens to 44 per cent by age 80. As a result, women were 80 per cent more likely than men to be impoverished at age 65 and older, while women age 75 to 79 were three times more likely to fall below the poverty level than men the same age.”
This grim “elephant in the room” can cause a constant underlying level of anxiety for millions of women today. Not only have most women earned less through their adult years, they tend to live longer than men (current average age is 81.2 versus 76.4 years) and their health care costs can be higher. The fear of running out of money is listed as one of the women’s top fears.
While there is no magic answer, here are three ways women are adding extra income later in life:
1. Getting a part-time job
The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that by the end of this decade, about 20 per cent of women over 65 will be in the labour force.
Not only is the extra money critical, but the right part-time job can also be a godsend to battle the loneliness of being at home all day, is rewarding, and can build a broader social network.
2. Starting a hobby business
Women are amazingly creative and ingenious! With the power of the internet and sites like Etsy, women of all ages are selling crafts, handmade jewellery, and art.
Local farmer’s markets are amazing places to sell baked goods or handmade jams, as well as a wonderful way to be a part of the local community.
3. Find a roommate
House sharing or renting out an extra room in your home is one of the fastest and easiest ways to earn extra income without having to leave the house. Not only does it offer financial support, but it also has countless benefits to your health.
Studies show our health declines when living alone. Also, for those who can no longer afford their home, renting with a companionable housemate is much more pleasant than living in a tiny, stale apartment.
This article originally appeared here.