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How much do lifetime earnings explain retirement resources?

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  • Antoine Bozio

    ()
    (Institute for Fiscal Studies)

  • Carl Emmerson

    ()
    (Institute for Fiscal Studies)

  • Gemma Tetlow

    ()
    (Institute for Fiscal Studies)

Abstract

We use a unique dataset, containing individual survey data from the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing linked to administrative data on earnings histories from administrative records, to construct measures of lifetime earnings and examine how these relate to financial resources in retirement. Retirement income and wealth at retirement is, as expected, positively correlated with lifetime earnings but there is also substantial dispersion in retirement income and retirement wealth among people with similar lifetime earnings. For example, we find that those with greater numerical ability and higher education tend to have greater retirement resources even after controlling for differences in lifetime earnings. The retirement resources of single women are far less well explained by their own lifetime earnings than those of couples or single men. We hypothesise that, as the vast majority of single women in the age group considered had previously been married and are now widowed or divorced, this reflects the fact that we do not observe the lifetime earnings of their former spouses.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for Fiscal Studies in its series IFS Working Papers with number W11/02.

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Date of creation: Feb 2011
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Handle: RePEc:ifs:ifsewp:11/02

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Related research

Keywords: Lifetime earnings; savings; wealth; retirement;

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Cited by:
  1. Lührmann, Melanie & Serra-Garcia, Marta & Winter, Joachim, 2012. "Teaching teenagers in finance: does it work?," Discussion Papers in Economics 14101, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  2. Winter, Joachim & Lührmann, Melanie & Serra Garcia, Marta, 2013. "The effects of financial literacy training: Evidence from a field experiment in German high schools," Annual Conference 2013 (Duesseldorf): Competition Policy and Regulation in a Global Economic Order 79744, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.

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