Racial Wealth Disparities in Older Age and Social Security Program Participation

picture of two people standing on a stack of coins. One stack is noticeably smaller than the other

Center for Financial Security and Retirement & Disability Research Center    

LCC Member Samuel L. Myers, Jr.   

  • Found large wealth disparities between older age persons in White households vs. Black households using the Health and Retirement Survey (HRS)
  • Disparities widen with age and across the entire wealth distribution 
  • Wealth accumulation is slower for Black households 
  • Onset of Social Security Income is associated with a reduction in relative racial wealth disparities 
  • Results are mixed for Social Security Disability Insurance, which is tied to work history