IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/cca/wpaper/375.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Wealth decumulation, portfolio composition and financial literacy among European elderly

Author

Listed:
  • Agnese Romiti
  • Mariacristina Rossi

Abstract

This paper analyses the role played by financial literacy in savings decisions and wealth decumulation. The broad evidence shows that (elderly) households do not decumulate their assets as they age, contradicting the standard life-cycle theory, which predicts that households should decumulate their assets in order to keep their consumption smooth. In particular, older people seem to be very attached to illiquid assets, such as housing wealth, which is far more difficult to liquidate and use in case of unexpected shocks and for consumption smoothing. Using the SHARE (Survey of Health, Ageing, and Retirement in Europe) survey, we try to detect whether more financial literacy brings about more optimal behaviour from a life-cycle perspective. We look at the impact of financial literacy on three different dimensions of savings decisions: an unbalanced portfolio with excessive weight assigned to illiquid assets, the optimal consumption path, and wealth decumulation. According to our findings, higher financial literacy substantially reduces the portfolio imbalance of people aged 50+ by reducing the weight of housing wealth over total net worth. In addition, higher financial literacy is responsible for a more optimal consumption path and, in particular for men, for both net worth and housing wealth decumulation.

Suggested Citation

  • Agnese Romiti & Mariacristina Rossi, 2014. "Wealth decumulation, portfolio composition and financial literacy among European elderly," Carlo Alberto Notebooks 375, Collegio Carlo Alberto.
  • Handle: RePEc:cca:wpaper:375
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.carloalberto.org/assets/working-papers/no.375.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Maria Chiuri & Tullio Jappelli, 2010. "Do the elderly reduce housing equity? An international comparison," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 23(2), pages 643-663, March.
    2. 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.
    3. Bernheim, B. Douglas & Garrett, Daniel M. & Maki, Dean M., 2001. "Education and saving:: The long-term effects of high school financial curriculum mandates," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 80(3), pages 435-465, June.
    4. Steven F. Venti & David A. Wise, 2004. "Aging and Housing Equity: Another Look," NBER Chapters,in: Perspectives on the Economics of Aging, pages 127-180 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Wojciech Kopczuk & Joseph P. Lupton, 2007. "To Leave or Not to Leave: The Distribution of Bequest Motives," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 74(1), pages 207-235.
    6. Hurd, Michael D, 1989. "Mortality Risk and Bequests," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 57(4), pages 779-813, July.
    7. Luis M. Viceira, 2001. "Optimal Portfolio Choice for Long-Horizon Investors with Nontradable Labor Income," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 56(2), pages 433-470, April.
    8. Annamarie Lusardi & Olivia S. Mitchell, 2005. "Financial Literacy and Planning: Implications for Retirement Wellbeing," Working Papers wp108, University of Michigan, Michigan Retirement Research Center.
    9. Olivia S. Mitchell, 1999. "New Evidence on the Money's Worth of Individual Annuities," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(5), pages 1299-1318, December.
    10. Mariacristina De Nardi, 2004. "Wealth Inequality and Intergenerational Links," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 71(3), pages 743-768.
    11. Maarten C.J. van Rooij & Annamaria Lusardi & Rob J.M. Alessie, 2012. "Financial Literacy, Retirement Planning and Household Wealth," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 122(560), pages 449-478, May.
    12. van Rooij, Maarten & Lusardi, Annamaria & Alessie, Rob, 2011. "Financial literacy and stock market participation," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 101(2), pages 449-472, August.
    13. Marianna Brunetti & Elena Giarda & Costanza Torricelli, 2016. "Is Financial Fragility a Matter of Illiquidity? An Appraisal for Italian Households," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 62(4), pages 628-649, December.
    14. Lusardi, Annamaria & Mitchell, Olivia S., 2007. "Baby Boomer retirement security: The roles of planning, financial literacy, and housing wealth," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(1), pages 205-224, January.
    15. Rosen, H.S.Harvey S. & Wu, Stephen, 2004. "Portfolio choice and health status," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 72(3), pages 457-484, June.
    16. Angelini, Viola & Brugiavini, Agar & Weber, Guglielmo, 2010. "Does Downsizing of Housing Equity Alleviate Financial Distress in Old Age?," MEA discussion paper series 10217, Munich Center for the Economics of Aging (MEA) at the Max Planck Institute for Social Law and Social Policy.
    17. Annamaria Lusardi & Olivia S Mitchelli, 2007. "Financial Literacy and Retirement Preparedness: Evidence and Implications for Financial Education," Business Economics, Palgrave Macmillan;National Association for Business Economics, vol. 42(1), pages 35-44, January.
    18. Michael G. Palumbo, 1999. "Uncertain Medical Expenses and Precautionary Saving Near the End of the Life Cycle," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 66(2), pages 395-421.
    19. Laitner, John & Ohlsson, Henry, 2001. "Bequest motives: a comparison of Sweden and the United States," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 79(1), pages 205-236, January.
    20. Altonji, Joseph G & Hayashi, Fumio & Kotlikoff, Laurence J, 1997. "Parental Altruism and Inter Vivos Transfers: Theory and Evidence," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 105(6), pages 1121-1166, December.
    21. Annamaria Lusardi & Olivia Mitchell, 2006. "Financial Literacy and Retirement Preparedness: Evidence and Implications for Financial Education Programs," Working Papers wp144, University of Michigan, Michigan Retirement Research Center.
    22. Thomas Davidoff & Jeffrey R. Brown & Peter A. Diamond, 2005. "Annuities and Individual Welfare," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(5), pages 1573-1590, December.
    23. James Banks & Richard Blundell & Zöe Oldfield & James P. Smith, 2012. "Housing Mobility and Downsizing at Older Ages in Britain and the USA," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 79(313), pages 1-26, January.
    24. Gan, Li & Gong, Guan & Hurd, Michael & McFadden, Daniel, 2015. "Subjective mortality risk and bequests," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 188(2), pages 514-525.
    25. John Ameriks & Andrew Caplin & Steven Laufer & Stijn Van Nieuwerburgh, 2011. "The Joy of Giving or Assisted Living? Using Strategic Surveys to Separate Public Care Aversion from Bequest Motives," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 66(2), pages 519-561, April.
    26. Lillard, Lee A & Weiss, Yoram, 1997. "Uncertain Health and Survival: Effects on End-of-Life Consumption," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 15(2), pages 254-268, April.
    27. Mariacristina De Nardi & Eric French & John Bailey Jones, 2009. "Life Expectancy and Old Age Savings," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(2), pages 110-115, May.
    28. Menahem E. Yaari, 1965. "Uncertain Lifetime, Life Insurance, and the Theory of the Consumer," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 32(2), pages 137-150.
    29. Dustmann, Christian, 1997. "Return migration, uncertainty and precautionary savings," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(2), pages 295-316, April.
    30. Angela Hung & Erik Meijer & Kata Mihaly & Joanne K. Yoong, 2009. "Building Up, Spending Down Financial Literacy, Retirement Savings Management, and Decumulation," Working Papers 712, RAND Corporation.
    31. Lina Walker, 2004. "Elderly Households and Housing Wealth: Do They Use It or Lose It?," Working Papers wp070, University of Michigan, Michigan Retirement Research Center.
    32. Jappelli, Tullio & Padula, Mario, 2013. "Investment in financial literacy and saving decisions," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 37(8), pages 2779-2792.
    33. Almenberg, Johan & Dreber, Anna, 2015. "Gender, stock market participation and financial literacy," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 137(C), pages 140-142.
    34. Dustmann, Christian & Mestres, Josep, 2010. "Remittances and temporary migration," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(1), pages 62-70, May.
    35. Bernheim, B. Douglas & Garrett, Daniel M., 2003. "The effects of financial education in the workplace: evidence from a survey of households," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(7-8), pages 1487-1519, August.
    36. Annamaria Lusardi & Olivia Mitchell, 2007. "Financial Literacy and Retirement Planning: New Evidence from the Rand American Life Panel," Working Papers wp157, University of Michigan, Michigan Retirement Research Center.
    37. Viola Angelini & Agar Brugiavini & Guglielmo Weber, 2014. "The dynamics of homeownership among the 50+ in Europe," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 27(3), pages 797-823, July.
    38. Marianna Brunetti & Elena Giarda & Costanza Torricelli, 2016. "Is Financial Fragility a Matter of Illiquidity? An Appraisal for Italian Households," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 62(4), pages 628-649, December.
    39. Catalina Amuedo-Dorantes & Susan Pozo, 2006. "Remittances as insurance: evidence from Mexican immigrants," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 19(2), pages 227-254, June.
    40. Artle, Roland & Varaiya, Pravin, 1978. "Life cycle consumption and homeownership," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 18(1), pages 38-58, June.
    41. Lee Lockwood, 2012. "Bequest Motives and the Annuity Puzzle," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 15(2), pages 226-243, April.
    42. repec:ecj:econjl:v:122:y:2012:i::p:449-478 is not listed on IDEAS
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. repec:nup:jrmdke:v:5:y:2017:i:2:307-326 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Financial literacy; savings; wealth decumulation; housing; portfolio;

    JEL classification:

    • D14 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Household Saving; Personal Finance
    • D91 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics - - - Role and Effects of Psychological, Emotional, Social, and Cognitive Factors on Decision Making
    • G11 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Portfolio Choice; Investment Decisions

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    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:cca:wpaper:375. 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: (Giovanni Bert). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/fccaait.html .

    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.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with 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.