Financial life after the death of a spouse

Abstract: The death of a spouse results in a considerable decline in average income for the surviving spouse. The Social Security survivors benefits program compensates the surviving spouse, most often a woman, for almost all of the lost income, allowing them to work less, but many widows who are not yet eligible for the program struggle to meet their financial needs.

Keywords: household behavior; family economics; allocative efficiency; cost-benefit analysis; health; demand and supply of labor;

JEL Classification: D10; D61; I10; J20;

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Bibliographic Information

Provider: Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago

Part of Series: Chicago Fed Letter

Publication Date: 2020-05-19

Issue: 438

Pages: 5