But, rising rents may shift that balance—making widows or single senior women particularly susceptible to market trends. And, as one Federal Reserve Bank of Boston report notes, 84% of single senior households—mostly senior women—are financially vulnerable.
That figure is derived from the Senior Financial Stability Index, administered jointly by the public policy think-tank Demos and Brandeis University. The most recent data, from 2011, notes that among single senior women only, 47% were deemed “insecure” in 2011, up from 35% in 2008. The reasons? Single senior women homeowners live in older homes that require “substantial maintenance,” and are too often targets of predatory lending sharks. Among single senior women renters, the ratio of income to rent is unfavorable and will likely be made worse as rents continue to climb.