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Key Findings Details

Gain and Loss: Marriage and Wealth Changes Over Time
Julie Zissimopoulos
WP 2009-213

  • Married people over age 50 save more out of their lifetime earnings than remarried, divorced, widowed or partnered individuals.
  • Individuals who divorce experience a loss of wealth two to four years before the divorce and during the divorce, and they experience wealth recovery from increased savings after the divorce.
  • Changes in wealth at older ages are similar for married couples and single men who do not change marital status, but divorced and widowed women save less.
  • Divorced individuals who remarry accumulate wealth at higher rates than those who remain divorced.