Asset Depletion, Chronic Financial Stress, and Mortgage Trouble Among Older Female Homeowners.

TitleAsset Depletion, Chronic Financial Stress, and Mortgage Trouble Among Older Female Homeowners.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2019
AuthorsBaker, ACastro, West, S, Wood, A
ISSN Number1758-5341
KeywordsChronic stress, Financial Health, Mortgages, Retirement Planning and Satisfaction, Wealth Inequality, Women and Minorities

Background and Objectives: The Great Recession disproportionately impacted older adults and women of color, suggesting that women may be entering retirement without adequate assets. However, the current literature lacks a detailed account of women's experiences of mortgage trouble and foreclosure, as well as a longitudinal view of how these experiences impacted their overall financial assets.

Research Design and Methods: Grounded in cumulative inequality theory, this mixed methods study employed a QUAL→quan approach to gather qualitative data from a sample of 21 older adult women regarding their experiences of mortgage trouble. Quantitative longitudinal data was gathered for a subsample of the Early Baby Boomer Cohort using the Health and Retirement Study.

Results: Qualitative findings indicated women approaching retirement experienced chronic underemployment, wage stagnation, and financial volatility as contributors to asset depletion and eventual mortgage default or foreclosure. Quantitative results indicated asset depletion both during and post-Recession was considerably more pronounced among older adult women of color compared to older adult White men.

Discussion and Implications: These findings suggest that a lifetime of financial disadvantage coupled with macroeconomic instability situates older adult women, particularly women of color, in a financially vulnerable position for retirement. The ways in which 2017 attacks on the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Dodd-Frank, and the Fiduciary rule carry potential to further destabilize this population are also discussed.

User Guide Notes

Alternate JournalGerontologist
Citation Key9360
PubMed ID28958066