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What is an adequate standard of living during retirement?

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  • Johannes Binswanger
  • Daniel Schunk

    ()
    (Munich Center for the Economics of Aging (MEA))

Abstract

Many economists and policy-makers argue that households do not save enough to maintain an adequate standard of living during retirement. However, there is no consensus on the answer to the underlying question what this standard should be, despite the fact that it is crucial for the design of saving incentives and pension reforms. We address this question with a survey, individually tailored to each respondent’s financial situation, conducted both in the U.S. and the Netherlands. Key findings are that adequate levels of retirement spending exceed 70 percent of working life spending, and minimum acceptable replacement rates depend strongly on income. Key words: Life cycle preferences, pension reform, replacement rates, retirement saving.

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Paper provided by Munich Center for the Economics of Aging (MEA) at the Max Planck Institute for Social Law and Social Policy in its series MEA discussion paper series with number 08171.

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Date of creation: 11 Nov 2008
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Handle: RePEc:mea:meawpa:08171

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  1. Kapteyn, A. & Teppa, F., 2001. "Hypothetical Intertemporal Consumption Choices," Discussion Paper 2001-31, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  2. Barsky, Robert B, et al, 1997. "Preference Parameters and Behavioral Heterogeneity: An Experimental Approach in the Health and Retirement Study," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 112(2), pages 537-79, May.
  3. Lusardi, Annamaria & Mitchell, Olivia S., 2006. "Baby boomer retirement security: The roles of planning, financial literacy, and Housing wealth," CFS Working Paper Series 2006/20, Center for Financial Studies (CFS).
  4. Mark Aguiar & Erik Hurst, 2007. "Life-Cycle Prices and Production," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(5), pages 1533-1559, December.
  5. Donkers, Bas & Melenberg, Bertrand & Van Soest, Arthur, 2001. " Estimating Risk Attitudes Using Lotteries: A Large Sample Approach," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 22(2), pages 165-95, March.
  6. James Banks & Richard Blundell & Sarah Tanner, 1995. "Is there a retirement-savings puzzle?," IFS Working Papers W95/04, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  7. Maarten van Rooij & Annamaria Lusardi & Rob Alessi, 2007. "Financial literacy and stock market participation," DNB Working Papers 146, Netherlands Central Bank, Research Department.
  8. Beshears, John Leonard & Choi, James J. & Laibson, David I. & Madrian, Brigitte, 2008. "How Are Preferences Revealed?," Scholarly Articles 11130523, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  9. Jonathan Skinner, 2007. "Are You Sure You're Saving Enough for Retirement?," NBER Working Papers 12981, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. James Poterba & Joshua Rauh & Steven Venti & David Wise, 2003. "Utility Evaluation of Risk in Retirement Saving Accounts," NBER Working Papers 9892, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Binswanger, Johannes, 2007. "Risk management of pensions from the perspective of loss aversion," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 91(3-4), pages 641-667, April.
  12. Robert B. Barsky & Miles S. Kimball & F. Thomas Juster & Matthew D. Shapiro, 1995. "Preference Parameters and Behavioral Heterogeneity: An Experimental Approach in the Health and Retirement Survey," NBER Working Papers 5213, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. B. Douglas Bernheim & Lorenzo Forni & Jagadeesh Gokhale & Laurence J. Kotlikoff, 2000. "How much should Americans be saving for retirement?," Working Paper 0002, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.
  14. John Karl Scholz & Ananth Seshadri & Surachai Khitatrakun, 2004. "Are Americans Saving "Optimally" for Retirement?," NBER Working Papers 10260, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. John Beshears & James J. Choi & David Laibson & Brigitte C. Madrian, 2005. "The importance of default options for retirement saving outcomes: evidence from the United States," CeRP Working Papers 43, Center for Research on Pensions and Welfare Policies, Turin (Italy).
  16. Charles A. Holt & Susan K. Laury, 2002. "Risk Aversion and Incentive Effects," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(5), pages 1644-1655, December.
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Cited by:
  1. Maarten C.J. van Rooij & Annamaria Lusardi & Rob J.M. Alessie, 2012. "Financial Literacy, Retirement Planning and Household Wealth," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 122(560), pages 449-478, 05.
  2. Thomas Crossley & Jochem de Bresser & Liam Delaney & Joachim Winter, 2014. "Can survey participation alter household saving behavior?," IFS Working Papers W14/06, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  3. van Rooij, Maarten C.J. & Lusardi, Annamaria & Alessie, Rob J.M., 2011. "Financial literacy and retirement planning in the Netherlands," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 32(4), pages 593-608, August.
  4. Christian Dudel & Notburga Ott & Martin Werding, 2013. "Maintaining One's Living Standard at Old Age - What Does That Mean?: Evidence Using Panel Data from Germany," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 563, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).

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