Women are much more likely than men to live in poverty in old age, especially single women. Improving the economic security of single older women is a policy priority. It is also an important objective for financial advisors.

Most research into the reasons behind single older women’s economic insecurity focuses on the ‘motherhood penalty’: the effects of having and rearing children on labour market participation, incomes and retirement incomes. In Australia, however, 16 per cent of women do not have children and this proportion is growing. Little is known about older single women who do not have children, including how they are faring leading up to and after retirement and to what extent gender inequalities persist.

This report, co-authored by CEPAR’s Associate Professor Myra Hamilton from the University of Sydney, presents the results of a new mixed methods study, providing a detailed picture of what shapes the financial security and wellbeing of older single women without children.

FINAL REPORT_Security in old age for older single women without children.pdf

Assoc. Prof. Myra Hamilton

University of Sydney Business School