Senior poverty is on the rise. Disappearing pensions and inadequate retirement benefits are leaving more older Americans behind. Women, especially women of color, are more likely to age into poverty than men.


A Justice in Aging issue brief delves into the reasons women are more likely to age into poverty, and offers 15 recommendations for strengthening the supports that we all may need as we grow older. Women tell their own stories of the struggles they face in three short videos that accompany the report.

Key Drivers of Poverty Among Older Women: 

  • Caregiving responsibilities
  • Wage Gap & Low-Wage Work
  • Higher Health Care Costs
  • Death of a Spouse or Divorce
  • Wealth Gap
  • Discrimination
  • Domestic Violence


  1. Update the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) Program
  2. Provide Social Security Credits to Caregivers
  3. Increase Income Eligibility for Tax Credits
  4. Adopt Paid Leave Policies
  5. Expand Eligibility for 401(k) Participation
  6. Expand Eligibility for Medicare Savings Programs
  7. Add Dental, Vision, and Hearing to Medicare
  8. Maintain Pre-Existing Condition and Age Protections
  9. Develop a Long-Term Care Benefit
  10. Increase Funding for HUD and Other Housing Programs
  11. Utilize Medicaid to Increase Access to Housing
  12. Increase Funding for LIHEAP and Other Energy Assistance Programs
  13. Improve Access to SNAP
  14. Designate LGBTQ Older Adults as a “Greatest Social Need” Group
  15. Increase Funding for Legal Services

Watch more women tell their stories below.

Additional Resources and Materials on Senior Poverty