NEW RESEARCH SHOWS GRAY DIVORCED WOMEN ARE MORE LIKELY TO BE POOR
More and more adults are entering their golden years alone, either through gray divorce, or by choosing to stay unmarried, and for older women, Social Security benefits often aren't enough to stave off poverty.
BGSU sociologists Drs. I–Fen Lin and Susan Brown, along with Ph.D. student Anna Hammersmith, used data from the 2010 Health and Retirement Study (HRS) to look at a diverse range of marital biographies and examine three indicators of economic well–being: Social Security receipt, Social Security benefit levels, and poverty status. "Marital Biography, Social Security Receipt, and Poverty" is in press at the journal Research on Aging.
The researchers restricted the sample to HRS respondents and their spouses/partners who were age 63 and older in 2010 due to Social Security eligibility rules. In total, the analysis consisted of 9,649 individuals.
Lin and Brown found gray divorced women suffered the most economically, with a whopping 27 percent of them classified as poor. Just 11 percent of gray divorced men are in poverty. Never–married women also suffer economically in their later years, with 25 percent living in poverty.