Thanks to changes in everything from work records to the workplace itself, the poverty rate of widows should keep falling into the future.
That’s according to the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College, which points out that while it’s common for widows to end up poverty-stricken if they lose a husband’s pension on his death — as well as because of a drop in retirement income from Social Security when the late husband’s benefit ceases — other changes in women’s circumstances have meant that for the past 20 years their poverty rate has been on the decline.
And as those other changes continue, the poverty rate should also extend its downward trend.
The move during the 1970s and 1980s of women into the workplace, coupled with better education leading to better jobs, means that women have increased their financial independence. And with those better jobs leading to a better chance of having an employer retirement plan, women are also better equipped than they used to be to prepare financially for retirement.