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FAMILY : Older Women Pay Price of Divorce

June 13, 1993|ELIZABETH MEHREN

For older divorced women in America, the economic news is not good.

Two new reports from the American Assn. of Retired Persons (AARP) reveal that for divorced women ages 62 and older, the median annual income is only $9,000. This is one reason why three-fourths of all the elderly poor are women.

James Schulz, lead researcher on the AARP's "Economic Status of Divorced Older Women," says the economic problems of older divorced women are worsening.

The second AARP paper, "Women, Pensions & Divorce," offers proposals to change state and federal laws that often keep divorced women from sharing in the pensions they helped their ex-husbands to earn.

"Divorce jeopardizes the opportunity for a secure retirement, and policy makers must adjust our pension policies to better meet the needs of older women," says Anne Moss, author of "Women, Pensions & Divorce."

Joan M. King, a member of the AARP's national legislative council, adds that "access to a pension can often make the difference between having enough to cover basic necessities and living in poverty during the retirement years."

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