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Working for a Good Retirement

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  • Barbara A. Butrica
  • Karen E. Smith
  • C. Eugene Steuerle

Abstract

The choice of retirement age is the most important portfolio choice most workers will make. Drawing on the Urban Institute's Dynamic Simulation of Income model (DYNASIM3), this report examines how delaying retirement for nondisabled workers would affect individual retiree benefits, the solvency of the Social Security trust fund, and general revenues. The results suggest that delaying retirement by itself does not generate enough additional revenue to make Social Security solvent by 2045. Benefit cuts or supplementary funding sources will be necessary to achieve solvency. However, the size of the benefit cuts or tax increases could be minimized if individuals worked longer. This additional work also substantially increases worker's retirement well-being. Lower-income workers, to the extent they can work longer, have the most to gain from their additional labor. Policy changes that encourage work at older ages will substantially improve both economic and personal well-being in the future.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Levy Economics Institute in its series Economics Working Paper Archive with number wp_463.

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Date of creation: Jul 2006
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Handle: RePEc:lev:wrkpap:wp_463

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  1. Calvo, Esteban, 2006. "Does Working Longer Make People Healthier and Happier?," MPRA Paper 5606, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  2. Jagadeesh Gokhale & Laurence J. Kotlikoff & Alexi Sluchynsky, 2002. "Does it pay to work?," Working Paper 0206, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.
  3. Andrew A. Samwick, 1998. "New Evidence on Pensions, Social Security, and the Timing of Retirement," NBER Working Papers 6534, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Barbara A. Butrica & Richard W. Johnson & Karen Elizabeth Smith & C. Eugene Steuerle, 2004. "Does Work Pay at Older Ages?," Working Papers, Center for Retirement Research at Boston College wp2004-30, Center for Retirement Research, revised Nov 2004.
  5. James H. Stock & David A. Wise, 1988. "Pensions, The Option Value of Work, and Retirement," NBER Working Papers 2686, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Courtney Coile & Jonathan Gruber, 2004. "The Effect of Social Security on Retirement in the United States," NBER Chapters, in: Social Security Programs and Retirement around the World: Micro-Estimation, pages 691-730 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Richard W. Johnson & Amy J. Davidoff & Kevin Perese, 2003. "Health insurance costs and early retirement decisions," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 56(4), pages 716-729, July.
  8. Courtney Coile & Jonathan Gruber, 2000. "Social Security and Retirement," NBER Working Papers 7830, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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Cited by:
  1. Robert Clark & Melinda Morrill, 2013. "Increasing Work Life: The Role Of The Employer," Discussion Papers 13-016, Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research.
  2. C. Eugene Steuerle, 2010. "Why we must untie our fiscal straightjacket: A response to Henry J. Aaron," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 29(4), pages 891-893.
  3. Richard W. Johnson & Janette Kawachi, 2007. "Job Changes at Older Ages: Effects on Wages, Benefits, and Other Job Attributes," Working Papers, Center for Retirement Research at Boston College wp2007-04, Center for Retirement Research, revised Feb 2007.
  4. Gopi Shah Goda, 2007. "Implicit Social Security Tax Rates over the Life Cycle," Discussion Papers 06-021, Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research.
  5. Natalia Zhivan & Steven A. Sass & Margarita Sapozhnikov & Kelly Haverstick, 2008. "An "Elastic" Earliest Eligibility Age for Social Security," Issues in Brief ib2008-8-2, Center for Retirement Research, revised Feb 2008.

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