The Effect of Early Social Security Retirement Benefit Receipt on Poverty Among Older Women
This paper estimates the effect of early receipt of Social Security retirement benefits on poverty among older women using data from the RAND version of the Health and Retirement Study (HRS). Women are particularly vulnerable to poverty in old age due to their longer projected lifespans and often shorter earnings histories and lower retirement benefits compared to men. Women are also more likely than men to provide informal care to aging family members, and widows and divorcees may face additional disadvantages. Building on cumulative disadvantage theory, this paper focuses on older women and considers the interactions of health, caregiving responsibilities, and early Social Security receipt decisions on subsequent incomes relative to poverty 12 to 24 years after entering the HRS survey. I find that older women who received Social Security retirement benefits before reaching their full retirement age have lower household income relative to poverty in the last five of the seven survey years examined. Although there is no significant relationship for the full sample in the first two outcome years examined, I find that older women in certain disadvantaged groups who received benefits early have lower household income relative to poverty.
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Greszler, Rachel; Greszler, Rachel (2006-04-17)This paper estimates a model of the retirement decision of women using data from the RAND version of the Health and Retirement Study (HRS). In light of the changing nature of women's labor force participation, earnings, ...