IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/cup/jpenef/v3y2004i02p109-143_00.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Household annuitization decisions: simulations and empirical analyses

Author

Listed:
  • DUSHI, IRENA
  • WEBB, ANTHONY

Abstract

Annuities provide insurance against outliving one's wealth. Previous studies have indicated that, for many households, the value of the longevity insurance should outweigh the actuarial unfairness of prices in the voluntary annuity market. Nonetheless, voluntary annuitization rates are extremely low.Previous research on the value of annuitization has compared an optimal decumulation of unannuitized wealth with the alternative of annuitizing all unannuitized wealth at age 65. We relax these assumptions, allowing households to annuitize any part of their unannuitized wealth at any age and to return to the annuity market as many times as they wish.Using numerical optimization techniques, assuming the levels of actuarial unfairness of annuities calculated in previous research, and retaining the assumption made in previous research that one half of household wealth is pre-annuitized, we conclude that it is optimal for couples to delay annuitization until they are aged 73–82, and in some cases never to annuitize. It is usually optimal for single men and women to annuitize at substantially younger ages, between 65 and 70. Households that annuitize will generally wish to annuitize only part of their unannuitized wealth.Using data from the Asset and Health Dynamics Among the Oldest Old and Health and Retirement Study panels, we show that much of the failure of the average currently retired household to annuitize can be attributed to the exceptionally high proportions of the wealth of these cohorts that is pre-annuitized. We expect younger cohorts to have smaller proportions of pre-annuitized wealth and project increasing demand for annuitization as successive cohorts age.

Suggested Citation

  • Dushi, Irena & Webb, Anthony, 2004. "Household annuitization decisions: simulations and empirical analyses," Journal of Pension Economics and Finance, Cambridge University Press, vol. 3(2), pages 109-143, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:cup:jpenef:v:3:y:2004:i:02:p:109-143_00
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://www.cambridge.org/core/product/identifier/S1474747204001696/type/journal_article
    File Function: link to article abstract page
    Download Restriction: no

    More about this item

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:cup:jpenef:v:3:y:2004:i:02:p:109-143_00. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Keith Waters). General contact details of provider: https://www.cambridge.org/pef .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.