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Encore: When it comes to financial planning,women should anticipate spending more time on their own

As I discussed earlier this year, people are often interested in studying the saving behavior of women. I have generally resisted this approach because women have traditionally lived in households where the couple makes decisions jointly. In that world, the main distinction is between married women and single women, not between women and men. But a quick tally using the Health and Retirement Study (HRS) showed that the percentage of adult years that women spend married has declined sharply over time.

We have now done a more thorough study of this issue that allowed us to identify the factors leading to this change and how the pattern varies by education and race.

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