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Comparing Retirement Wealth Trajectories on Both Sides of the Pond

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  • Thomas F. Crossley
  • Cormac O'Dea
  • Richard Blundell
  • Rowena Crawford
  • Eric French
  • Gemma Tetlow

Abstract

We use comparable data from the U.S. and England to examine similarities and differences in the level and trajectories of assets among households age 70 and older. We find that in the U.S. assets on average decline gradually with age, while in England older households actually accumulate wealth. These differences appear to be driven largely, though not entirely, by housing wealth: During the period we consider, house price growth drove increases in housing wealth in England that more than offset the slow drawdown of nonhousing wealth. This suggests the illiquid nature of housing is likely to be an important factor in explaining wealth drawdown at older ages. We also consider the potential importance of bequest motives and savings to insure against the risk of medical and long-term care expenses.
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  • Thomas F. Crossley & Cormac O'Dea & Richard Blundell & Rowena Crawford & Eric French & Gemma Tetlow, 2016. "Comparing Retirement Wealth Trajectories on Both Sides of the Pond," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 37, pages 105-130, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:ifs:fistud:v:37:y:2016:i::p:105-130
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    Cited by:

    1. Poterba, James & Venti, Steven & Wise, David A., 2018. "Longitudinal determinants of end-of-life wealth inequality," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 162(C), pages 78-88.
    2. Rowena Crawford & Cormac O'Dea, 2020. "Household portfolios and financial preparedness for retirement," Quantitative Economics, Econometric Society, vol. 11(2), pages 637-670, May.
    3. Martin Eling & Omid Ghavibazoo, 2019. "Research on long-term care insurance: status quo and directions for future research," The Geneva Papers on Risk and Insurance - Issues and Practice, Palgrave Macmillan;The Geneva Association, vol. 44(2), pages 303-356, April.
    4. Makoto Nakajima & Irina A. Telyukova, 2020. "Home Equity In Retirement," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 61(2), pages 573-616, May.
    5. Christian Dudel & Julian Schmied, 2019. "Pension adequacy standards: an empirical estimation strategy and results for the United States and Germany," MPIDR Working Papers WP-2019-003, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany.
    6. Eric French & John Bailey Jones & Elaine Kelly & Jeremy McCauley, 2018. "End-of-Life Medical Expenses," Working Paper 18-18, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond.
    7. Margherita Borella & Mariacristina De Nardi, 2020. "Why Does Consumption Fluctuate in Old Age and How Should the Government Insure it?," Opportunity and Inclusive Growth Institute Working Papers 40, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
    8. Daniel Barczyk & Matthias Kredler & Sean Fahle, 2019. "Save, Spend or Give? A Model of Housing, Family Insurance, and Savings in Old Age," 2019 Meeting Papers 361, Society for Economic Dynamics.

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