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WASHINGTON- A new Market Update report from Callahan & Associates finds that women represent an untapped opportunity for credit unions. According to the report even though women make up 51% of the U.S. population and 46% of credit union membership nationwide, their very different needs are just now being recognized by the financial services industry. For example: * Women on average earn less than men, 76 cents for every dollar men earn. * Half of all working women are in lower paying jobs without pensions, often in part time work. * Women live an average of seven years longer than men and are often widowed in their mid fifties. * Nine out of 10 women will be solely responsible for their finances at some point in their lives. According to the report, the biggest crunch for women comes at retirement when lower lifetime earnings and lack of pensions cause an over-reliance on Social Security and finances that push many below the poverty level, particularly among the unmarried. “The challenge is to reach women before a major life change (like divorce of death of a spouse) forces them to recognize the importance of financial planning,” the report says. “As trusted, nonprofit financial institutions, credit unions are in a unique position to offer basic financial education tailored to women. Key topics are retirement planning and how to build savings.” For more information on the report visit www.creditunions.com/research.

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