Marital Biography, Social Security Receipt, and Poverty.

TitleMarital Biography, Social Security Receipt, and Poverty.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2017
AuthorsLin, I-F, Brown, SL, Hammersmith, AM
JournalResearch on Aging
Volume39
Issue1
Pagination86-110
Date Published2017 Jan
ISSN Number1552-7573
KeywordsGender Differences, Marriage, Older Adults, Poverty, Social Security
Abstract

Increasingly, older adults are unmarried, which could mean a larger share is at risk of economic disadvantage. Using data from the 2010 Health and Retirement Study, we chart the diverse range of marital biographies, capturing marital sequences and timing, of adults who are age eligible for Social Security and examine three indicators of economic well-being: Social Security receipt, Social Security benefit levels, and poverty status. Partnereds are disproportionately likely to receive Social Security and they enjoy relatively high Social Security benefits and very low poverty levels. Among singles, economic well-being varies by marital biography and gender. Gray divorced and never-married women face considerable economic insecurity. Their Social Security benefits are relatively low, and their poverty rates are quite high (over 25%), indicating Social Security alone is not sufficient to prevent these women from falling into poverty. By comparison, gray widoweds are the most advantaged singles.

DOI10.1177/0164027516656139
Alternate JournalRes Aging
Citation Key8903
PubMed ID28181867