AARP Hawai‘i Women and Money Conference aims to close Retirement Gender Gap

AARP Hawai‘i Women and Money Conference aims to close Retirement Gender Gap

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The money gender gap between men and women extends through retirement, as older women are 57 percent more likely to live in poverty than older men, studies show. The reason older women are more likely to have financial difficulty is not just because of the wage gap. (In Hawai'i, Women make 83 cents for every dollar men make.) They also tend to outlive men and are more likely to be single when older. Women are also more likely to leave the workforce to take care of children or older relatives. So, not surprisingly, they have less access to pensions, retirement savings and asset income; and have less Social Security income, while depending on Social Security more, according to a University of Hawai'i study.

But the good news is that women have traits that can make them better investors than men when they do save and invest, said Gerri Walsh, one of the nation's top investment educators and a keynote speaker at AARP Hawai'i's Women and Money: Secure Your Future conference.

Walsh will speak on "How Women Outshine Men at Investing" on Saturday, July 14 at the Japanese Cultural Center of Hawai'i (JCCH) in Mo'ili'ili at the conference, which runs from 8 a.m. to noon and is open to women of all ages. You don't have to be an AARP member.  Cost is $5 and includes coffee and pastries. Validated parking in the JCCH costs $6. As president of the FINRA Investor Education Foundation, Walsh oversees educational programs and research to help Americans learn to make sound financial decisions.

A recent FINRA (Financial Industry Regulatory Authority) Foundation study found that women have less access to financial education than men and scored lower than men on financial literacy tests.

"We hope to empower women financially with this conference," said Jackie Boland, the AARP Hawaii outreach director. "At AARP, our goal is to enable people to choose how they live as they age. You have to have financial security to live the life you want to live in retirement."

Topics covered include: financial planning, Social Security and Medicare benefits, retirement planning and negotiating salary and benefits. Men can come to the conference, but it is designed for women and their financial needs, Boland said.

Register by calling 1-877-926-8300 or online at aarp.cvent.com/women7-14.

Walsh will also be speaking in Hilo and Wailuku on "Thinking Money: Smart Investing." Those workshops, co-sponsored with FINRA and the state Office of the Securities Commissioner, are free and will cover topics including retirement savings, choosing the right investments and managing and evaluating investment risk and performance.

The Hilo workshop is Sunday, July 15 at 1 p.m. at the Aging and Disability Resource Center at 1055 Kinoole Street. Lunch will be provided. The Maui workshop is on Tuesday, July 17 at the J. Walter Cameron Center, 95 Mahalani Street in Wailuku. It runs from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. and includes dinner.

Both workshops are open to anyone of any age. But space is limited and you must pre-register by calling toll-free 1-877-926-8300 or going to http://bit.ly/aarpHIevents.

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