retirement / women / women finances

Women spend less than half of adult life in marriage- implications for retirement

A study by the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College found that the average US woman now will spend less than half of her adult life as part of a married couple. This “has significant implications for financial planning,” the study’s authors note. (8/21/17 Retirement Security Smartbrief).

Do Women Still Spend Most of Their Lives Married?



The brief’s key findings are:

  • Traditionally, women spent their adult lives married, so it made more sense to study households rather than women separately.
  • The question is whether today’s women are spending fewer years married.
  • The analysis looks at four birth cohorts, ranging from the Depression Era to Mid Baby Boomers.
  • No matter how you define the age span, the percentage of years spent married has dropped from about 70 percent to 50 percent.
  • The reasons are three-fold: 1) fewer women get married; 2) when they do marry, they get married later; and 3) more women end up divorced.
  • Thus, looking at women’s finances separately from men is increasingly necessary for a full assessment of their retirement security.


Women need to invest for retirement security beginning with their first job and not depend on a man for financial security in later life. 

Source: Financial Planning for Women