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What is an Adequate Standard of Living during Retirement?

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  • Schunk, Daniel

    ()
    (University of Zürich Institute for Empirical Research in Economics)

  • Binswanger, Johannes

    ()
    (Tilburg University, Department of Economics)

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 randomized survey design, individually tailored to each respondent's financial situation, and conducted both in the U.S. and the Netherlands. Key findings are that adequate levels of retirement spending exceed 80 percent of working life spending for a majority of respondents, minimum acceptable replacement rates depend strongly on income, and households in the Netherlands are much more risk averse than U.S. households.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Sonderforschungsbereich 504, Universität Mannheim & Sonderforschungsbereich 504, University of Mannheim in its series Sonderforschungsbereich 504 Publications with number 08-48.

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Length: 37 pages
Date of creation: 03 Dec 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:xrs:sfbmaa:08-48

Note: Financial support from the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, SFB 504, at the University of Mannheim, is gratefully acknowledged by Daniel Schunk.
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References

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  1. Maarten van Rooij & Annamaria Lusardi & Rob Alessie, 2007. "Financial Literacy and Stock Market Participation," CeRP Working Papers 66, Center for Research on Pensions and Welfare Policies, Turin (Italy).
  2. John Karl Scholz & Ananth Seshadri & Surachai Khitatrakun, 2004. "Are Americans Saving "Optimally" for Retirement?," NBER Working Papers 10260, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  4. Beshears, John & Choi, James J. & Laibson, David & Madrian, Brigitte C., 2008. "How are preferences revealed?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(8-9), pages 1787-1794, August.
  5. Annamaria Lusardi & Olivia S. Mitchell, 2006. "Baby Boomer Retirement Security: the Roles of Planning, Financial Literacy, and Housing Wealth," NBER Working Papers 12585, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Donkers, A.C.D. & Melenberg, B. & Soest, A.H.O. van, 1999. "Estimating Risk Attitudes Using Lotteries; A Large Sample Approach," Discussion Paper 1999-12, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  7. B. Douglas Bernheim, 2000. "How Much Should Americans Be Saving for Retirement?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(2), pages 288-292, May.
  8. John Beshears & James J. Choi & David Laibson & Brigitte C. Madrian, 2009. "The Importance of Default Options for Retirement Saving Outcomes: Evidence from the United States," NBER Chapters, in: Social Security Policy in a Changing Environment, pages 167-195 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. Mark Aguiar & Erik Hurst, 2007. "Life-Cycle Prices and Production," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(5), pages 1533-1559, December.
  12. Kapteyn, A. & Teppa, F., 2001. "Hypothetical Intertemporal Consumption Choices," Discussion Paper 2001-31, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  13. James Banks & Richard Blundell & Sarah Tanner, 1995. "Is there a retirement-savings puzzle?," IFS Working Papers W95/04, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  14. Robert B. Barsky & Miles S. Kimball & F. Thomas Juster & Matthew D. Shapiro, 1997. "Preference Parameters and Behavioral Heterogeneity: An Experimental Approach in the Health and Retirement Survey," NBER Working Papers 5213, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. 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.
  16. 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.
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Cited by:
  1. Maarten van Rooij & Annamaria Lusardi & Rob Alessie, 2011. "Financial Literacy, Retirement Planning, and Household Wealth," DNB Working Papers 313, Netherlands Central Bank, Research Department.
  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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