VIENNA, Austria - September 16, 2020 – Alone at home due to Corona - many singles have had their minds burdened by exit restrictions and distance rules in the last months. Also when it comes to money matters, it’s not always easy for them, because people in partnerships feel financially more comfortable than those living alone, as a BAWAG P.S.K. survey shows: 43% of singles referred to a tense or difficult financial situation, while "only" 29% of couples with children under 6 years of age stated this in comparison, 26% of those with children over 6 years of age.
In Austria, more women than men would be affected by this, because more of them live alone: According to figures from Statistik Austria , women live more often without a partner - last year there were 800,000 Austrian women, in contrast to about 674,000 men living alone - and this mainly in old age: 7 out of 10 women over 50 years old are living alone, the majority of them (about 381,000) are over 65 years. If the trend were to in-crease slightly, this could mean 100,000 more "single women 50plus" than today in the year 2030.
"Women over 50 years are more likely to live alone and therefore also tend to stand on their own feet finan-cially more often. In addition, many have less money to save for old age during their working years than men. Although women are catching up more and more regarding education and are ahead in terms of university degrees, they still earn less than men on average and work part-time more often. Other facts, such as time spent on childcare, also indicate that women particularly benefit from early, regular financial planning for the future," explains Werner Rodax, Managing Director Retail Market Austria at BAWAG P.S.K.
More often living alone and less average pension: Financial independence for women more important than ever
A closer look at the figures reveals that in 2019, almost 1.5 million people lived in Austria alone, which corre-sponded to about 17% of the total population. This means that more than every sixth Austrian is "solo". How-ever, as it is so often the case, there are also gender differences here. The proportion of women is higher: in the previous year, for example, about 18% of Austrian women lived alone, while the figure for men is about 16%. It is interesting that men on average tend to live alone in younger years: The largest group of single men are 30-39 years old (21%). Women, on the other hand, tend to be "solo" in later years, the largest group being the 70 to 79-year-olds, also with 21%.
This difference becomes even clearer when you look at the numbers of people over 50 years living alone: In the previous year, almost 576,000 Austrian women over 50 years lived without a partner, one in two of whom was over 70 years old. In comparison, around 330,000 men over 50 years were living alone, "only" one in three of them over 70. A comparison of the number of women “50plus” living alone with the year 2008 shows that this figure has risen by around 16%, from around 494,000 to 576,000. If a similar trend is assumed to continue in the coming years, this would mean that by 2030 there will already be over 660,000 women over 50 years in Austria who are living without a partner and stand on their own feet financially.
In addition, there is also the issue of the "gender pension gap", because according to Statistik Austria, the median old-age pension in Austria for women in 2018 amounted to € 982 gross (14 times per year), which is about half of the amount of men (€ 1,953). This is not least one of the most important arguments for taking one's own financial future into (female) hands as early as possible. "A financial “cushion” for the old age gives a feeling of security. Those who start making provisions early can look into the future more calmly - we would like to send this message to women and encourage them to take on a greater responsibility when it comes to their finances," Rodax concludes.
1 The survey was conducted by marketmind on behalf of BAWAG P.S.K. among more than 1,000 Austrians aged 18-65 years.
2 STATISTIK AUSTRIA Mikrozensus Arbeitskräfte Survey 2019.
Manfred Rapolter (Head of Corporate & Commercial Communications, Spokesperson)