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We held 14 focus groups with women retirees across the United States to get their perspectives on financial security. Every group was concerned about rising health care costs and each group discussed how a lack of personal finance education had a negative effect on their retirement security.
People whose disabilities keep them from working can apply for Social Security Disability Insurance. People who claim these benefits may also be on prescription opioids for chronic pain. Opioids are addictive and can be misused.
About 10% of Americans per year cared for an elderly parent or spouse from 2011 through 2017. These family caregivers may risk their long-term financial security if they have to work less or pay for caregiving expenses such as travel or medicine.
The U.S. retirement system, and the workers and retirees it was designed to help, face major challenges. Traditional pensions have become much less common, and individuals are increasingly responsible for planning and managing their own retirement savings accounts, such as 401(k) plans.
What GAO Found Many retirees and workers approaching retirement have limited financial resources. About half of households age 55 and older have no retirement savings (such as in a 401(k) plan or an IRA).
What GAO Found The decline in marriage, rise in women's labor force participation, and transition away from defined benefit (DB) plans to defined contribution (DC) plans have resulted in changes in the types of retirement benefits households receive and increased vulnerabilities for some.