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Net Worth and Housing Equity in Retirement

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  • Todd Sinai
  • Nicholas S. Souleles

Abstract

This paper documents the trends in the life-cycle profiles of net worth and housing equity between 1983 and 2004. The net worth of older households significantly increased during the housing boom of recent years. However, net worth grew by more than housing equity, in part because other assets also appreciated at the same time. Moreover, the younger elderly offset rising house prices by increasing their housing debt, and used some of the proceeds to invest in other assets. We also consider how much of their housing equity older households can actually tap, using reverse mortgages. This fraction is lower at younger ages, such that young retirees can consume less than half of their housing equity. These results imply that 'consumable' net worth is smaller than standard calculations of net worth.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 13693.

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Date of creation: Dec 2007
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Publication status: published as Recalibrating Retirement Spending and Saving John Ameriks and Olivia S. Mitchell Print publication date: 2008 Print ISBN-13: 9780199549108 Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2009 DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199549108.001.0001
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:13693

Note: AG AP EFG LS PE
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  1. Sally R. Merrill & Meryl Finkel & Nandinee K. Kutty, 1994. "Potential Beneficiaries from Reverse Mortgage Products for Elderly Homeowners: An Analysis of American Housing Survey Data," Real Estate Economics, American Real Estate and Urban Economics Association, vol. 22(2), pages 257-299.
  2. 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.
  3. Venti, Steven F. & Wise, David A., 1991. "Aging and the income value of housing wealth," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 44(3), pages 371-397, April.
  4. David A. Wise, 2004. "Introduction to "Perspectives on the Economics of Aging"," NBER Chapters, in: Perspectives on the Economics of Aging, pages 1-16 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Jonathan Skinner, 2007. "Are You Sure You're Saving Enough for Retirement?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 21(3), pages 59-80, Summer.
  6. Todd Sinai & Nicholas S. Souleles, 2005. "Owner-Occupied Housing as a Hedge Against Rent Risk," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 120(2), pages 763-789, May.
  7. David A. Wise, 2004. "Perspectives on the Economics of Aging," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number wise04-1.
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Cited by:
  1. James M. Poterba & Steven F. Venti & David A. Wise, 2010. "Demographic Trends, Housing Equity, and the Financial Security of Future Retirees," NBER Chapters, in: Demography and the Economy, pages 227-287 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Hui Shan, 2009. "Reversing the trend: the recent expansion of the reverse mortgage market," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2009-42, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  3. Alicia H. Munnell & Mauricio Soto, 2008. "The Housing Bubble and Retirement Security," Working Papers, Center for Retirement Research at Boston College wp2008-13, Center for Retirement Research, revised Aug 2008.
  4. Renata Bottazzi & Tullio Jappelli & Mario Padula, 2009. "The Portfolio Effect of Pension Reforms," CSEF Working Papers 234, Centre for Studies in Economics and Finance (CSEF), University of Naples, Italy.
  5. 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.

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