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Study shows women end up farther in debt later in life

When many people think of their golden years, they envision traveling the country or spending time visiting with friends and family. However, retirement isn't always this idyllic, and many are finding that their finances and debt levels are seriously impacting their quality of life.

According to a study conducted by the National Institute on Retirement Security, women are more likely than men to end up with more debt after retiring. In fact, women between the ages of 75 and 79 are three times more likely than men to end up living in "impoverished conditions." This is often due to the person having a disproportionate amount of the income going to debt, leaving little for housing, food and other quality of life costs.

There are several reasons that women are more at risk. The first is that women are still making less than men overall, which means they have less retirement income coming in when they do leave the work force. Women also still have longer life expectancies than men, which leaves them needing more money to cover expenses from retirement to when they pass on.

Late-in-life divorces, also called gray divorces, can also have a negative impact on their financial situations. Those who go through a divorce often find themselves relying on credit cards to take care of their living expenses while they adjust to living on less money. The stress of a divorce can also lead some to cope by shopping or eating out more often, which can dramatically increase expenses during a time when saving money is key. This is why it is important to consider legal help when divorcing so that your rights and interests are protected.

Source: ABC 7, "Study: Women face more debt in retirement," Shaun Plum, July 12, 2016

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