Older women's health and its impact on wealth

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


As many elderly women tend to outlive their spouses, there is a growing population of unmarried elderly women. Unmarried women are worse off than married women both financially and physically. A question that hasn't been answered is whether and how the relationship between health and wealth differs across elderly women's marital status. Do the negative impacts of health problems cause more serious financial consequences for unmarried elderly women than married women? Using the five waves of data from the Asset and Health Dynamics Among the Oldest Old (AHEAD) from 1993 to 2002, this question is empirically investigated. Results indicate that severe chronic conditions result in 4 to 10% greater wealth depletion for unmarried women than married women. This finding calls for heightened awareness of the negative financial consequences of health problems and also calls for increased lifetime earning potential, reconsideration of women's retirement benefits, and greater attention to preventive care.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)75-91
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Women and Aging
Issue number1
StatePublished - Apr 17 2006


  • Chronic conditions
  • Marital status
  • Older women
  • Wealth depletion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gender Studies
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


Dive into the research topics of 'Older women's health and its impact on wealth'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this