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The Wealth of Cohorts: Retirement Saving and the Changing Assets of Older Americans

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  • David A. Wise
  • Steven F. Venti

Abstract

Personal retirement accounts are becoming an increasingly important form of retirement saving. Using data from the Survey of Income and Program Participation, the paper considers the effect of this change on the assets of recent retirees and persons who are approaching retirement. Much of the analysis is based on comparison of younger and older cohorts with different lengths of exposure to personal retirement saving programs. The findings suggest that personal retirement saving has already added substantially to the personal financial assets of older families. Projections imply that the personal financial assets of the cohort that will attain age 76 in 28 years will be almost twice as large as the personal financial assets of the cohort that attained age 76 in 1991. The results indicate also that to date there has been little replacement of employer-provided pension saving with personal retirement saving. Together with evidence that personal financial saving is unrelated to changes in home equity, the results suggest that personal retirement saving will lead to an important increase in the overall wealth of the elderly.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 4600.

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Date of creation: Dec 1993
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Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:4600

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References

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  1. Daniel Feenberg & Jonathan Skinner, 1989. "Sources of IRA Saving," NBER Chapters, in: Tax Policy and the Economy, Volume 3, pages 25-46 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. James M. Poterba & Steven F. Venti & David A. Wise, 1996. "The Effects of Special Saving Programs on Saving and Wealth," NBER Chapters, in: The Economic Effects of Aging in the United States and Japan, pages 217-240 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. B. Douglas Bernheim & John B. Shoven, 1988. "Pension Funding and Saving," NBER Chapters, in: Pensions in the U.S. Economy, pages 85-114 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Jonathan Feinstein & Daniel McFadden, 1987. "The Dynamics of Housing Demand by the Elderly: Wealth, Cash Flow, and Demographic Effects," NBER Working Papers 2471, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Gale, William G & Scholz, John Karl, 1994. "IRAs and Household Saving," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(5), pages 1233-60, December.
  6. Diamond, P. A. & Hausman, J. A., 1984. "Individual retirement and savings behavior," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(1-2), pages 81-114.
  7. Jonathan Skinner, 1991. "Housing and Saving in the United States," NBER Working Papers 3874, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. John F. Wilson & James L. Freund & Frederick O. Yohn, Jr & Walther Lederer, 1989. "Measuring Household Saving: Recent Experience from the Flow-of-Funds Perspective," NBER Chapters, in: The Measurement of Saving, Investment, and Wealth, pages 101-152 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. James M. Poterba & Steven F. Venti, 1994. "401(k) Plans and Tax-Deferred Saving," NBER Chapters, in: Studies in the Economics of Aging, pages 105-142 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Philip Cagan, 1965. "The Effect of Pension Plans on Aggregate Saving: Evidence from a Sample Survey," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number caga65-2, October.
  11. Munnell, Alicia H, 1976. "Private Pensions and Saving: New Evidence," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 84(5), pages 1013-32, October.
  12. Steven F. Venti & David A. Wise, 1989. "Aging, Moving, and Housing Wealth," NBER Chapters, in: The Economics of Aging, pages 9-54 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Hubbard, Robert Glenn, 1985. "Personal Taxation, Pension Wealth, and Portfolio Composition," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 67(1), pages 53-60, February.
  14. B. Douglas Bernheim & John Karl Scholz, 1993. "Private Saving and Public Policy," NBER Chapters, in: Tax Policy and the Economy, Volume 7, pages 73-110 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Hilary Williamson Hoynes & Daniel McFadden, 1994. "The Impact of Demographics on Housing and Non-Housing Wealth in the United States," NBER Working Papers 4666, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Robin L. Lumsdaine & David A. Wise, 1994. "Aging and Labor Force Participation: A Review of Trends and Explanations," NBER Chapters, in: Aging in the United States and Japan: Economic Trends, pages 7-42 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  17. Douglas H. Joines & James G. Manegold, 1991. "IRAs and saving: evidence from a panel of taxpayers," Research Working Paper 91-05, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.
  18. Venti, Steven F & Wise, David A, 1986. "Tax-Deferred Accounts, Constrained Choice and Estimation of Individual Saving," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 53(4), pages 579-601, August.
  19. Zvi Bodie & John B. Shoven & David A. Wise, 1988. "Pensions in the U.S. Economy," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number bodi88-1, October.
  20. Louise Sheiner & David N. Weil, 1992. "The Housing Wealth of the Aged," NBER Working Papers 4115, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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