Local

May 6, 2013 10:17 AM by Samantha Ptashkin

Nearly half of American women fear becoming "bag ladies"

TUCSON- When you ask women what they fear there are some typical answers.

"I get paranoid sometimes when I'm by myself," says 22-Year-Old Jennie Natoli.

"I fear my kids getting involved in drugs and alcohol," says 32-Year-old Yesenia Campos.

"Walking late at night, alone," says 34-Year-Old Genevieve Pratt.

But according to a recent study by Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America, nearly half of women in the United States fear becoming bag ladies.

According to the Merriam Webster dictionary entry, a "bag lady" is a "homeless woman who roams the streets of a city carrying her possessions in shopping bags".

She might even carry her cargo in a shopping cart.

Regardless of the method, some say the fear isn't as far-fetched as it sounds. "No, I don't think it is and there are two very rational reasons," says Laura Penny of the Women's Foundation of Southern Arizona.

"One, is we live longer than men and two, is we make less money than them," Penny says.

But according to the study, 27% of the women who fear becoming a bag lady, make more than $200,000 per year. "Even if you're making a good salary, if you're not saving, investing, or planning for retirement, you can still end up destitute," Penny says.

Most women tell News 4 Tucson they have better things to worry about. "I think when it comes to something like that I'd fear becoming the cat lady out of everybody,' Natoli says. "I don't want to be the old cat lady on the block."

"I've already been accused of being a bag lady and it's not the end of the world!" says 53-Year-Old Denise Higgins.

Still, most acknowledge that if they're not careful, anything can happen. "There is that fear, what if we lose our jobs and we exhaust all our savings?" Campos says.

One silver-lining in the study is nearly 60% of women surveyed feel they have more earning power than ever before.

To check out the entire study visit: www.allianzlife.com/retirement/retirement_insights/women_money_power.aspx

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