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The Effects of Subjective Survival on Retirement and Social Security Claiming

  • Michael D. Hurd

    (RAND)

  • James P. Smith

    (RAND)

  • Julie M. Zissimopoulos

    (RAND)

This research examines the relationship between mortality risk and retirement, and mortality risk and the propensity to take early and reduced Social Security benefits. The main theory for understanding saving behavior is the life-cycle model (LCH). The LCH, however, can be extended to find the optimal retirement age, and can be used to make predictions about the desire to annuitize or equivalently, the desire to delay claiming Social Security benefits. According to the LCH, individuals who expect to be exceptionally long-lived will retire at a later age than individuals who expect to die early because they will need greater wealth to finance more years of retirement. According to almost any model of intertemporal maximization, those who expect to be long lived will see the increase in Social Security benefits that result from retiring at 65 rather than at 62 as being financially advantageous and will, therefore, delay application for benefits until the age of 65. In principle the decision to retire and the decision to take early and reduced benefits are related decisions but not necessarily the same decision. Therefore this study examines both decisions.

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File URL: http://www.mrrc.isr.umich.edu/publications/Papers/pdf/wp021.pdf
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Paper provided by University of Michigan, Michigan Retirement Research Center in its series Working Papers with number wp021.

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Length: 20 pages
Date of creation: May 2002
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:mrr:papers:wp021
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  1. Jeffrey R. Brown & Mark J. Warshawsky, 2001. "Longevity-Insured Retirement Distributions from Pension Plans: Market and Regulatory Issues," NBER Working Papers 8064, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Michael D. Hurd & Kathleen McGarry, 2002. "The Predictive Validity of Subjective Probabilities of Survival," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 112(482), pages 966-985, October.
  3. Kotlikoff, Laurence J & Spivak, Avia, 1981. "The Family as an Incomplete Annuities Market," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(2), pages 372-91, April.
  4. Michael D. Hurd & Daniel McFadden & Angela Merrill, 2001. "Predictors of Mortality among the Elderly," NBER Chapters, in: Themes in the Economics of Aging, pages 171-198 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. F. Thomas Juster & Richard Suzman, 1995. " An Overview of the Health and Retirement Study," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 30, pages s7-s56.
  6. COILE, Courtney & DIAMOND, Peter & GRUBER, Jonathan & JOUSTEN, Alain, 2000. "Delays in claiming social security benefits," CORE Discussion Papers 2000029, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  7. Arulampalam, W. & Robin A. Naylor & Jeremy P. Smith, 2002. "University of Warwick," Royal Economic Society Annual Conference 2002 9, Royal Economic Society.
  8. Brown, Jeffrey R., 2001. "Private pensions, mortality risk, and the decision to annuitize," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 82(1), pages 29-62, October.
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