Unmarried women no longer lag behind in retirement savings

Without the combined resources of marriage, single women have historically been at a financial disadvantage during retirement. But a recent study suggests that gap between married and unmarried women is closing, Bloomberg reported Jan. 10 

The study comes from economists at Boston College's Center for Retirement Research. The following table reflects the percentage of women's working-age income replaced in retirement, according to age and marital status: 

 Birth generation

 Mostly married in adulthood 

 Mostly single in adulthood 

 Silent Generation (1931-1941)



 War babies (1942-1947)



 Early boomers (1948-1953)



 Mid-boomers (1954-1959)



 Late boomers (1960-1965)



From the Silent Generation through the early boomers, the income replacement percentage gap hovered around 8 percentage points. But for mid- to late boomers, that window has been closing, with unmarried late boomers seeing two percent less income replacement than their married counterparts. 

There are a few reasons why this may be, according to Bloomberg. Younger women received more degrees, and thus are making more money in the workforce. But men played a role in closing the gap, as they suffered long bouts of unemployment during the Great Recession. Between women making more than they had historically and men making less, the financial difference between married and unmarried women appears to be shrinking. 

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