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What Single Women in the US Face: Economic Discrimination and the Retirement Crisis

Single women across the United States face an uphill battle when it comes to economic discrimination, particularly when it comes to housing and retirement. The gender wage gap already puts single women at a disadvantage, but they also have to pay more for rent than their married counterparts. This is especially true in many cities across the US where median rents of one-bedroom apartments are similar to two-bedroom, thus making it difficult for singles on tight budgets.

Compounding this problem is the fact that 54.5% of never-married women had no retirement savings compared with 36.7% of those who were once married—making an independent future even harder for single people without financial security or support from a partner or family member. There are various contributing factors that play into this issue such as lower salaries due to gender inequality, fewer benefits because employers are not required by law to provide them, and lack of savings due to inadequate income or excessive spending.

These worrying trends have been compounded by COVID-19 since single women disproportionately represent essential workers who have either lost their job or suffered reduced wages over the course of the pandemic. With little access to emergency relief funds and added unemployment insurance, single women are even more vulnerable during this time as they are much less likely than their married counterparts to receive financial support from friends and family members in times of need.

The knock-on effects can be seen in recent research suggesting that single women are increasingly unable to make ends meet or save money for retirement—an economic crisis that begins back at home but carries over into old age. In order for single women to achieve parity in terms of economic stability, there must be greater access to affordable housing and better-saving tools tailored specifically towards this demographic—such as special tax deductions, micro-loans, and employer-sponsored plans—so they can achieve financial independence well before retirement age.

The current state of affairs paints a disheartening picture for single women across the country who struggle daily against a system designed against them; Thankfully there are organizations dedicated to helping these individuals find success through affordable housing opportunities, pension plan advice, and general financial guidance services so that all can participate equally in achieving a secure future regardless of marital status. With concerted efforts made at both public and private levels, we can start tackling this growing problem together starting now so that all Americans have access to socio-economic mobility regardless of relationship status.