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Financial Literacy and Financial Sophistication Among Older Americans

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  • Annamaria Lusardi
  • Olivia S. Mitchell
  • Vilsa Curto

Abstract

This paper analyzes new data on financial literacy and financial sophistication from the 2008 Health and Retirement Study. We show that financial literacy is lacking among older individuals and for the first time explore additional questions on financial sophistication which proves even scarcer. For this sample of older respondents over the age of 55, we find that people lack even a rudimentary understanding of stock and bond prices, risk diversification, portfolio choice, and investment fees. In view of the fact that individuals are increasingly required to take on responsibility for their own retirement security, this lack of knowledge has serious implications.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 15469.

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Date of creation: Nov 2009
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Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:15469

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  1. James J. Choi & David Laibson & Brigitte C. Madrian, 2006. "Why Does the Law of One Price Fail? An Experiment on Index Mutual Funds," NBER Working Papers 12261, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. van Rooij, Maarten & Lusardi, Annamaria & Alessie, Rob J. M., 2007. "Financial literacy and stock market participation," CFS Working Paper Series 2007/27, Center for Financial Studies (CFS).
  3. Annamaria Lusardi, 2008. "Household Saving Behavior: The Role of Financial Literacy, Information, and Financial Education Programs," NBER Working Papers 13824, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Annamaria Lusardi & Olivia S. Mitchell & Vilsa Curto, 2009. "Financial Literacy among the Young: Evidence and Implications for Consumer Policy," NBER Working Papers 15352, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Checchi,Daniele, 2008. "The Economics of Education," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521066464, April.
  6. John Y. Campbell, 2006. "Household Finance," NBER Working Papers 12149, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Kenneth R. French & James M. Poterba, 1991. "Investor Diversification and International Equity Markets," NBER Working Papers 3609, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Annamaria Lusardi & Olivia S. Mitchell, 2008. "Planning and Financial Literacy: How Do Women Fare?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(2), pages 413-17, May.
  9. Lusardi, Annamaria & Mitchell, Olivia S., 2010. "How ordinary consumers make complex economic decisions: Financial literacy and retirement readiness," CFS Working Paper Series 2010/11, Center for Financial Studies (CFS).
  10. Annamaria Lusardi & Olivia S Mitchelli, 2007. "Financial Literacy and Retirement Preparedness: Evidence and Implications for Financial Education," Business Economics, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 42(1), pages 35-44, January.
  11. David Bravo Urrutia & Olivia S. Mitchell & Petra Todd, 2007. "Learning from the Chilean Experience: The Determinants of Pension Switching," Working Papers wp266, University of Chile, Department of Economics.
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Cited by:
  1. Guiso, Luigi & Sodini, Paolo, 2012. "Household Finance: An Emerging Field," CEPR Discussion Papers 8934, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Joanne W. Hsu, 2011. "Aging and Strategic Learning: The Impact of Spousal Incentives on Financial Literacy," NFI Working Papers 2011-WP-06, Indiana State University, Scott College of Business, Networks Financial Institute.
  3. Najat El Mekkaoui de Freitas & Berangere Legendre Lunven & Gordon Clark, 2013. "Individual Private Retirement Insurances: holding behaviours among pensioners," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 33(1), pages 812-827.
  4. Annamaria Lusardi & Olivia S. Mitchell, 2013. "Older Adult Debt and Financial Frailty," Working Papers wp291, University of Michigan, Michigan Retirement Research Center.
  5. Annamaria Lusardi & Olivia S. Mitchell, 2011. "Financial Literacy around the World: An Overview," NBER Working Papers 17107, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Jonathan D. Ketcham & Claudio Lucarelli & Eugenio J. Miravete & M. Christopher Roebuck, 2012. "Sinking, Swimming, or Learning to Swim in Medicare Part D," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(6), pages 2639-73, October.
  7. Clark, Gordon & El Mekkaoui de Freitas, Najat & Legendre, Bérangère, 2012. "Poverty Risk and Holding Behavior Among Retirees," Economics Papers from University Paris Dauphine 123456789/11143, Paris Dauphine University.

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