Wealth Inequality and Asset Depletion among Single Early Baby Boomers: Differences by Gender, Race/Ethnicity and Home Ownership in Retirement Readiness

Stacia West

January 12, 2017
  • ID: IWPR #D509

This new research focuses on the group of baby boomers born from 1948-1953, who reached age 62, when workers become eligible for Social Security benefits, between 2010 and 2015. The study follows them through annual waves of interviews from 2006-2012, from two years before the Great Recession to two years after its official end in an effort to see how changes in the housing market specifically may have affected their overall wealth as they neared or entered retirement. In 2006, when the study begins, there were 22.7 million early baby boomers, about 35 percent of whom were single. In order to compare the assets of men and women, research on wealth is typically restricted to single adults because it is difficult to determine asset ownership within married couples. Single status in this study is determined each year; all those single (those not living with a partner or spouse) in any year are included that year. In 2017, members of the cohort are 64-69 years of age.