Cohort Changes in the Retirement Resources of Older Women

by Howard M. Iams, John W. R. Phillips, Kristen Robinson, Lionel Deang, and Irena Dushi
Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 68 No. 4, 2008
Table equivalent for Chart 1. Educational attainment of women aged 55–64: 1984, 1994, and 2004 (in percent)
Education 1984 1994 2004
Less than high school 32 24 13
High school diploma 45 41 36
Some college 12 20 26
College degree 10 15 24
SOURCE: U.S. Census Bureau, Annual Demograhpic Survey, 1985 and 1995; and Annual Social and Economic Supplement, 2005.
NOTE: A single question that asks for the highest grade or degree completed is now used to determine educational attainment. Before 1995, educational attainment was measured using data on years of school completed.
Table equivalent for Chart 2. Marital status of the population aged 55–64, by sex: 1984, 1994, and 2004 (in percent)
Marital status Men Women
1984 1994 2004 1984 1994 2004
Married 85 81 79 70 69 67
Widowed 4 3 2 17 14 10
Divorced 6 10 13 9 13 18
Never married 6 5 6 4 4 5
SOURCE: U.S. Census Bureau, Annual Demographic Survey, 1985 and 1995; and Annual Social and Economic Supplement, 2005.
Table equivalent for Chart 3. Percentage of women aged 55–64, by race and Hispanic origin: 1984, 1994, and 2004
Race and Hispanic origin 1984 1994 2004
White, non-Hispanic 84 80 77
Black, non-Hispanic 9 10 10
Hispanic (of any race) 4 6 8
SOURCE: U.S. Census Bureau, Annual Demographic Survey, 1985 and 1995; and Annual Social and Economic Supplement, 2005.
Table equivalent for Chart 4. Labor force participation rates of people aged 55–64, by sex and age group: 1984, 1994, and 2004 (in percent)
Sex and age group 1984 1994 2004
Men 55–61 77 74 74
Men 62–64 48 45 51
Women 55–61 47 56 62
Women 62–64 29 33 39
SOURCE: Bureau of Labor Statistics tabulations of the monthly Current Population Surveys.
Table equivalent for Chart 5. Median household income of women aged 55–64, by income category: 1984, 1994, and 2004 (2004 dollars)
Household income 1984 1994 2004
Poverty 8,341 8,765 7,615
Low income 17,982 20,143 19,112
Middle income 35,536 43,461 37,234
High income 74,376 84,987 86,271
SOURCE: U.S. Census Bureau, Annual Demographic Survey, 1985 and 1995; and Annual Social and Economic Supplement, 2005.
NOTE: Data for 1984 and 1994 have been inflation-adjusted with the Consumer Price Index for Urban Earners, to 2004 dollars.
Being in poverty is measured as income less than 100 percent of the poverty threshold. Low income is between 100 percent and 199 percent of the poverty threshold. Middle income is between 200 percent and 399 percent of the poverty threshold. High income is 400 percent or more of the poverty threshold. Poverty thresholds are available at http://www.census.gov/hhes/www/poverty/threshld.html.
Table equivalent for Chart 6. Median net worth of women aged 55–64 who report having assets, by educational attainment: 1994 and 2004 (2004 dollars in thousands)
Education 1994 2004
Total 141 141
Less than high school 51 42
High school diploma 145 115
Some college 223 154
College degree 312 325
SOURCE: Health and Retirement Study.
NOTE: Data for 1994 have been inflation-adjusted to 2004 dollars. Wealth of married couples is divided in half to create a per capita measure.
Table equivalent for Chart 7. Median net worth (excluding home equity) of women aged 55–64 who report having assets, by educational attainment: 1994 and 2004 (2004 dollars in thousands)
Education 1994 2004
Total 48 36
Less than high school 8 5
High school diploma 51 28
Some college 101 40
College degree 147 118
SOURCE: Health and Retirement Study.
NOTE: Data for 1994 have been inflation-adjusted to 2004 dollars. Wealth of married couples is divided in half to create a per capita measure.
Table equivalent for Chart 8. Percentage of women aged 55–64 who ever had a pension, by pension type: 1994 and 2004
Pension type 1994 2004
No pension 48 37
Defined-benefit only 21 11
Defined-contribution only 13 17
Both types 16 34
SOURCE: Health and Retirement Study.
Table equivalent for Chart 9. Percentage of current beneficiary women aged 62–64 receiving Social Security benefits, by type of benefit: December 1984, 1994 and 2004
Benefit type 1984 1994 2004
Retired worker 48 52 56
Disabled worker 8 9 16
Spouse 23 20 12
Survivor 21 19 16
SOURCE: Annual Statistical Supplement to the Social Security Bulletin, 1986, Table 84; 1995, Table 5.A16; and 2005, Table 5.A16.
Table equivalent for Chart 10. Average retired-worker benefits for current beneficiaries aged 62–64, by sex: 1984, 1994 and 2004 (in 2004 dollars)
Sex 1984 1994 2004
Men 853 918 1,053
Women 555 595 710
SOURCE: Annual Statistical Supplement to the Social Security Bulletin, 1986, 1995, and 2005.
Table equivalent for Chart 11. Percentage of people aged 55–64 with employer-based retiree health insurance, by sex: 1994 and 2004
Sex 1994 2004
Men 44 42
Women 20 35
SOURCE: Health and Retirement Study.
NOTE: Employer-based retiree health insurance continues after an employee leaves his or her job. The measure used here includes former employees who have left their job and current employees who expect insurance to continue after leaving. The measure also counts coverage from a spouse's employer-based insurance that continues after employment stops.