On average, women earn less than men with each paycheck, which causes a significant gender disparity in earnings over a lifetime. As a result, women often lack the financial resources needed in old age. This fact sheet addresses the economic needs of older women, their sources of income, and the gender wage gap by race and ethnicity. It discusses factors that impact the lower average lifetime earnings of women and policy changes that could increase the economic security of older women. Lower earnings than men for full-time work, lower likelihood than men to work full-time, and a greater likelihood than men to have had time out of the labor force because of caregiving all contribute to women’s lower lifetime earnings.