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Right before the end: asset decumulation at the end of life

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  • Eric French
  • Mariacristina De Nardi
  • John Bailey Jones
  • Olesya Baker
  • Phil Doctor

Abstract

Using data from the Asset and Health Dynamics of the Oldest Old survey, the authors find that the assets of people who die decline much faster than the assets of people who survive, even after controlling for age, sex, and initial asset levels. Out-of-pocket medical expenses right before death can deplete the assets of many elderly households and constitute an important reason to keep assets in old age.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago in its journal Economic Perspectives.

Volume (Year): (2006)
Issue (Month): Q III ()
Pages: 2-13

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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedhep:y:2006:i:qiii:p:2-13:n:v.30no.3

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Related research

Keywords: Wealth ; Households - Economic aspects;

References

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  1. Eric French & John Bailey Jones, 2004. "On the distribution and dynamics of health care costs," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 19(6), pages 705-721.
  2. Orazio P. Attanasio & Carl Emmerson, 2003. "Mortality, Health Status, and Wealth," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 1(4), pages 821-850, 06.
  3. Mariacristina De Nardi & Eric French & John Bailey Jones, 2006. "Differential Mortality, Uncertain Medical Expenses, and the Saving of Elderly Singles," 2006 Meeting Papers 46, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  4. Christopher D. Carroll, 2001. "A Theory of the Consumption Function, With and Without Liquidity Constraints (Expanded Version)," NBER Working Papers 8387, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Orazio P. Attanasio & Hilary W. Hoynes, 1995. "Differential Mortality and Wealth Accumulation," NBER Working Papers 5126, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Michael D. Hurd & James P. Smith, 1999. "Anticipated and Actual Bequests," NBER Working Papers 7380, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Shorrocks, A F, 1975. "The Age-Wealth Relationship: A Cross-Section and Cohort Analysis," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 57(2), pages 155-63, May.
  8. Hurd, Michael D, 1990. "Research on the Elderly: Economic Status, Retirement, and Consumption and Saving," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 28(2), pages 565-637, June.
  9. Martin Browning & Thomas F. Crossley, 2001. "The Life-Cycle Model of Consumption and Saving," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 15(3), pages 3-22, Summer.
  10. David Altig, 2001. "Simulating Fundamental Tax Reform in the United States," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(3), pages 574-595, June.
  11. Wojciech Kopczuk, 2007. "Bequest and Tax Planning: Evidence from Estate Tax Returns," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 122(4), pages 1801-1854, November.
  12. Palumbo, Michael G, 1999. "Uncertain Medical Expenses and Precautionary Saving Near the End of the Life Cycle," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 66(2), pages 395-421, April.
  13. F. Thomas Juster & James P. Smith & Frank Stafford, 2004. "The Measurement and Structure of Household Wealth," Labor and Demography 0402009, EconWPA.
  14. Davies, James B. & Shorrocks, Anthony F., 2000. "The distribution of wealth," Handbook of Income Distribution, in: A.B. Atkinson & F. Bourguignon (ed.), Handbook of Income Distribution, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 11, pages 605-675 Elsevier.
  15. Eric French & Kirti Kamboj, 2002. "Analyzing the relationship between health insurance, health costs, and health care utilization," Economic Perspectives, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, issue Q III, pages 60-72.
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Cited by:
  1. Alexandra Spicer & Olena Stavrunova & Susan Thorp, 2013. "How Portfolios Evolve After Retirement: Evidence From Australia," Working Paper Series 11, Economics Discipline Group, UTS Business School, University of Technology, Sydney.
  2. Olesya Baker & Phil Doctor & Eric French, 2007. "Asset rundown after retirement: the importance of rate of return shocks," Economic Perspectives, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, issue Q II, pages 48-65.

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