New York Women's Foundation & AARP New York Release Analysis Report Of NYC Women Voters 50+

Oct 24, 2013, 09:50 ET from AARP New York

Report Highlights Major Issues Older Women Face; Top Concern is Affordable Housing

Panel Discussion Addresses Issues We Aren't Hearing About from Candidates

NEW YORK, Oct. 24, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The New York Women's Foundation (NYWF) and AARP New York today released an analysis report on the issues concerning New York City's 50+ women voters, and hosted a panel discussion with five of New York City's leading aging experts and advocates to talk about the issues important to women voters. NYWF was joined by NYC Department for the Aging Commissioner Lilliam Barrios-Paoli, AARP New York State Director Beth Finkel, Council for Senior Centers and Services Director of Public Policy Bobbie Sackman, and Grand Street Settlement Executive Director Margarita Rosa. The discussion was moderated by NYC Department for the Aging Deputy Commissioner Caryn Resnick.

AARP New York's report highlights the key issues and concerns of a growing, yet often ignored population of older women. In New York City, women represent the majority of the 50+ population, and the proportion of women increases with age. Moreover, women are at a greater risk of poverty and economic insecurity in older age. The analysis report reveals that York City's women voters 50+ are less confident they'll be able to retire, have experienced age discrimination at a higher rate than their male counterparts, and are most worried about the lack of affordable housing. Among women, the lack of affordable housing is the top voted "major" problem by a 15 percentage point margin.

Beth Finkel, State Director of AARP New York said: "Half of all votes in the upcoming New York City elections will likely come from an AARP member. Voters age 50 and older are the most powerful voting demographic in New York City, and will determine the next Mayor and city council members.  Women comprise the majority of this voting bloc yet the candidates aren't talking much about the group or their pressing concerns. 50+ women voters in New York City are stressed and stretched thin when it comes to housing and retirement and even their ability to pay soaring utility bills, they are looking to the candidates for answers before they cast their votes."

Ana Oliveira, President & CEO of NYWF said: "I'm so pleased we were able to join with AARP New York, the New York City Department for the Aging, and New York Women's Foundation's grantee partners to shed light on the critical issues facing older women in New York City. Through the release of AARP New York's analysis report, and a robust conversation, it is clear what issues must be addressed by our elected officials, community leaders and advocates. "

Key findings from the report include:

Affordable Housing
With about 60 percent of all 50+ NYC voters renting their homes, affordable housing is an issue of concern for many.

  • 60 percent of female voters say they are extremely/very concerned about being able to pay the rent in the coming years.

Work and Retirement
Overall, about four in ten New York City voters age 50 and older are in the labor force, whether currently employed (one-third) or looking for work (one in ten). Furthermore, more than four in ten voters age 50 and older are concerned about workplace age discrimination.

  • 53 percent of female voters in the labor force say retirement will be delayed due to financial reasons
  • 47 percent of female voters are concerned about age discrimination at work.

Caregiving for elderly, aging, frail or disabled adult loved ones has been the responsibility for roughly four in ten New York City voters age 50 and older within the past five years. More than half of family caregivers say the impact of their caregiving puts an overwhelming strain on their quality of life including emotional and financial hardship.

  • 41 percent of women voters have been a caregiver for an adult, family member or friend within the past five years.

NYC Department for the Aging Commissioner Lilliam Barrios-Paoli said: "Over the next 20 years, with the expected major increase in the older population, issues of poverty, frailty, housing and employment will pose increasing budgetary and policy challenges that must be addressed. Our seniors have given so much to New York City over the years and deserved to be heard on these issues affecting them today. I thank The New York Women's Foundation (NYWF) and AARP New York for working with the Department for the Aging to provide that voice to older New Yorkers."

Bobbie Sackman, Director of Public Policy for the Council for Senior Centers and Services said: "Council for Senior Centers and Services is proud to be participating in this important event with the NY Women's Foundation and AARP to put light on the lives of women over the age of 50 in NYC. Women are the backbone of families, communities and the workforce, yet are often marginalized as they age. Age discrimination in the workplace and the impact of societal ageism makes for formidable challenges towards aging well with dignity. It is time to raise the bar on ageism, put light on the lives of thousands of older women and their contributions, and convene leaders across the city to stand up and champion older women."

For more information and to read the full report, please visit For more information on the New York Women's Foundation, please visit