The Retirement Prospects of Divorced Women
Barbara A. Butrica
Karen E. Smith
February 1, 2012
Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 72, No. 1, pp. 11-22, 2012
For decades, policymakers have discussed how to remedy the high poverty rates of older widows. Yet older divorced women are more likely to be poor than older widows, and historical divorce and remarriage trends suggest that in the future a larger share of retired women will be divorced. This article uses the Social Security Administration’s Modeling Income in the Near Term (version 6) to project the retirement resources and well-being of divorced women. We find that Social Security benefits and retirement incomes are projected to increase for divorced women and that their poverty rates are projected to decline, due in large part to women’s increasing lifetime earnings. However, not all divorced women will be equally well off; economic well-being in retirement varies by Social Security benefit type.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 12
Keywords: Economics of aging, women, divorced, Social Security, pensions, economic well-being, poverty, retirement
JEL Classification: D31, H55, I3, J11, J12, J14, J16, J26, J30Accepted Paper Series
Date posted: February 5, 2012
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