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Two years ago this month, Thomas Piketty published his massive tome on inequality, Capital in the 21st Century. Embedded in the 696 pages of tables and analysis was a fairly simple idea: In rich countries, the distribution of wealth is more unequal than the distribution of income; wealth will continue to grow faster than income (r>g); and, therefore, a small elite will inherit the wealth of the world with little left over for the many poor.
His thesis had its share of nitpickers and weighty detractors, but it succeeded in moving the U.S. debate about the rich and poor from a discussion of income, which is annual, to a discussion of wealth, which is cumulative. This was important. Piketty wasn’t just shining a spotlight on inequality in 2014, but rather turning the lights up on the history of wealth accumulation among the richest sliver of society and showing where things might be headed. In a way, one might say it broadened the popular discussion of inequality by adding a critical dimension: time.
As the Health and Education Chair for the National Coalition of 100 Black Women RMAC, I would like to congratulate this year’s NCBW RMAC Phenomenal Women Scholarship recipients. I will be presenting scholarships during our Phenomenal Women Gala on April 23, 2016.
Women 80% more likely to be impoverished in retirement than men
We all hear discussions about the income gap between men and women, but far too often we don’t think about the long-term ramifications.
A study by the National Institute on Retirement Security (NIRS) finds that women age 65 and older are 80% more likely to be impoverished than men, while those age 75 to 79 were 3 times more likely to fall below the poverty line than their male counterparts.
“It is well documented that the nation faces a retirement savings crisis, but the pain is particularly severe for women because we need a bigger retirement nest egg than men thanks to our longer life expectancy,” said Diane Oakley, NIRS executive director and report co-author.
“This new data is troubling—it shows that a woman’s nest egg is substantially smaller than a man’s and that we’re not making real headway toward closing the retirement gender gap,” she adds.