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The Role Of Financial Literacy In Determining Retirement Plans

Author

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  • ROBERT L. CLARK
  • MELINDA SANDLER MORRILL
  • STEVEN G. ALLEN

Abstract

Workers nearing retirement face many important, and often irreversible, choices. We collected detailed demographic and financial literacy data on over 1,500 workers nearing retirement at three large companies to assess how individuals are planning for retirement. Many respondents display limited knowledge and understanding of public and company-provided retirement benefits. Controlling for basic demographics and wealth, we find that misconceptions about eligibility ages and plan generosity influence workers' expected age of retirement. Although retirement-related decisions will affect workers' wellbeing for the remainder of their lifetimes, many do not possess enough basic financial knowledge to confidently make optimal choices.
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Suggested Citation

  • Robert L. Clark & Melinda Sandler Morrill & Steven G. Allen, 2012. "The Role Of Financial Literacy In Determining Retirement Plans," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 50(4), pages 851-866, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:ecinqu:v:50:y:2012:i:4:p:851-866 DOI: j.1465-7295.2011.00390.x
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1111/j.1465-7295.2011.00390.x
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Annamarie Lusardi & Olivia S. Mitchell, 2005. "Financial Literacy and Planning: Implications for Retirement Wellbeing," Working Papers wp108, University of Michigan, Michigan Retirement Research Center.
    2. Lusardi, Annamaria & Mitchell, Olivia S., 2007. "Baby Boomer retirement security: The roles of planning, financial literacy, and housing wealth," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, pages 205-224.
    3. Annamaria Lusardi & Olivia S. Mitchell, 2017. "How Ordinary Consumers Make Complex Economic Decisions: Financial Literacy and Retirement Readiness," Quarterly Journal of Finance (QJF), World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd., vol. 7(03), pages 1-31, September.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Brugiavini, Agar & Cavapozzi, Danilo & Padula, Mario & Pettinicchi, Yuri, 2015. "Financial education, literacy and investment attitudes," SAFE Working Paper Series 86, Research Center SAFE - Sustainable Architecture for Finance in Europe, Goethe University Frankfurt.
    2. Rob Clark & Rikiya Matsukura & Naohiro Ogawa, 2013. "Low fertility, human capital, and economic growth," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 29(32), pages 865-884, October.
    3. Robert Clark & Annamaria Lusardi & Olivia S. Mitchell, 2017. "Employee Financial Literacy And Retirement Plan Behavior: A Case Study," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 55(1), pages 248-259, January.
    4. Annamaria Lusardi & Olivia S. Mitchell, 2014. "The Economic Importance of Financial Literacy: Theory and Evidence," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 52(1), pages 5-44, March.
    5. Clark, Robert L. & Morrill, Melinda Sandler & Vanderweide, David, 2014. "Defined benefit pension plan distribution decisions by public sector employees," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, pages 73-88.
    6. Grohmann, Antonia & Kouwenberg, Roy & Menkhoff, Lukas, 2015. "Childhood roots of financial literacy," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 51(C), pages 114-133.
    7. Monika Riedel & Helmut Hofer & Birgit Wögerbauer, 2015. "Determinants for the transition from work into retirement in Europe," IZA Journal of European Labor Studies, Springer;Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit GmbH (IZA), vol. 4(1), pages 1-19, December.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • J14 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of the Elderly; Economics of the Handicapped; Non-Labor Market Discrimination
    • J26 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Retirement; Retirement Policies
    • J32 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Nonwage Labor Costs and Benefits; Retirement Plans; Private Pensions

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