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The trajectory of wealth in retirement

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Author Info

  • Love, David A.
  • Palumbo, Michael G.
  • Smith, Paul A.

Abstract

In this paper, we develop a measure of household resources that converts total financial and non-financial assets, plus annuity-like assets (mainly, Social Security and defined-benefit pensions) into an expected annual amount of wealth per person in retirement. We use this measure, which we call "annualized comprehensive wealth," to investigate spend-down behavior among a panel of older households in the Health and Retirement Study (HRS) from 1998 to 2006. Our analysis indicates that for most retired households, comprehensive wealth balances decline much more slowly than their remaining life expectancies, so that the predominate trend is for real annualized wealth to rise significantly with age over the course of retirement. Comparing the estimated age profiles for annualized wealth with profiles simulated from several different life-cycle models, we find that a model that takes into account uncertain longevity, random medical expenses, and intended bequests lines up best with the broad patterns of rising annualized wealth in the HRS.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Public Economics.

Volume (Year): 93 (2009)
Issue (Month): 1-2 (February)
Pages: 191-208

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Handle: RePEc:eee:pubeco:v:93:y:2009:i:1-2:p:191-208

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505578

Related research

Keywords: Retirement wealth Life-cycle saving Mortality risk Precautionary saving Bequests Risk Uncertainty;

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References

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Pashchenko, Svetlana, 2012. "Accounting for non-annuitization," MPRA Paper 42792, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  2. Makoto Nakajima & Irina A. Telyukova, 2011. "Home equity withdrawal in retirement," Working Papers 11-15, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
  3. John Karl Scholz & Ananth Seshadri, 2008. "Are All Americans Saving ‘Optimally’ for Retirement?," Working Papers wp189, University of Michigan, Michigan Retirement Research Center.
  4. Mariacristina De Nardi & Eric French & John B. Jones, 2010. "Why Do the Elderly Save? The Role of Medical Expenses," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 118(1), pages 39-75, 02.
  5. Simon Rottke & Alexander Klos, 2013. "Savings and Consumption When Children Move Out," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 621, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
  6. James Poterba & Steven Venti & David Wise, 2011. "The Composition and Drawdown of Wealth in Retirement," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 25(4), pages 95-118, Fall.
  7. Motohiro Yogo, 2008. "Portfolio Choice in Retirement: Health Risk and the Demand for Annuities, Housing, and Risky Assets," 2008 Meeting Papers 63, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  8. Poterba, James M. & Venti, Steven F. & Wise, David A., 2011. "The Drawdown of Personal Retirement Assets," Working Paper Series rwp11-006, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
  9. Karen Smith & Mauricio Soto & Rudolph G. Penner, 2009. "How Seniors Change Their Asset Holdings During Retirement," Working Papers, Center for Retirement Research at Boston College wp2009-31, Center for Retirement Research, revised Dec 2009.

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