Finances and Older Women
The Iowa Commission on the Status of Women
has collected a number of general resources for women on
financial literacy, but
older women have some particular challenges. Elder women
are particularly vulnerable to living in poverty. A number
of factors affect women's lifetime earnings, their particular
about Social Security, and retirement
savings. Some women may not have previously worked outside
the home and find a financial need to do so later in life.
In some cases, laws regarding finances may have changed,
and it's important to keep abreast of financial news. For
some women, money was never discussed when they grew up,
and recognizing now when and how to ask for help is crucial.
Women's longer lifespan may mean for some
that avoiding long term care and/or having financial strategies
in place to fund long term care are central concerns. Other
older women may be finding new financial roles for themselves
if they unexpectedly lose a spouse to death, illness, or
divorce. Information, planning, and taking charge are the
best defenses for older women against poverty or financial
Unfortunately, in addition to physical
or emotional abuse, some older women are victims of financial
abuse. The Iowa Department on Aging has a number
of resources on the legal
rights of older Iowans, as well as available services
for those in need, like substitute
decision making. Financial
Safety Planning for Older Women is also available.
Financial crimes against seniors and vulnerable adults are a growing concern. AARP Iowa estimates that one in six people over 64 fall victim to financial abuse. Con artists often target older Americans, taking them for almost $3 billion each year.
Here are some tips to avoid scams:
Get on the National Do Not Call Registry. Register your phone number at www.donotcall.gov or 888-382-1222.
Take the time you need to research, get advice and learn more before making a large purchase or investment.
Don’t be afraid to say "no."
Monitor your money by regularly reviewing your accounts and investments.
Report fraud to help protect others from the same scam.
To report financial fraud, contact the Iowa Insurance Division at 877-955-1212 or the Consumer Protection Division in the Iowa Attorney General's office at 888-777-4590.