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The Impact of Health Status and Out-of-Pocket Medical Expenditures on Annuity Valuation

Author

Listed:
  • Cassio M. Turra

    (University of Pennsylvania)

  • Olivia S. Mitchell

    (University of Pennsylvania)

Abstract

This paper describes how differences in health status at retirement can influence the decision to purchase a life annuity. We extend previous research on annuitization decisions by incorporating the effect of health differentials via differences in survival throughout the latter portion of life. Next, we consider how precautionary savings motivated by uncertain out-of-pocket medical expenses influence annuitization decisions. Our results show that annuities become less attractive to people facing uncertain medical expenses. While full annuitization would still be optimal if annuity markets were truly complete and both life- and health-contingent, lacking this, annuity equivalent wealth values are much lower for those in poor health, as compared to persons in good health.

Suggested Citation

  • Cassio M. Turra & Olivia S. Mitchell, 2004. "The Impact of Health Status and Out-of-Pocket Medical Expenditures on Annuity Valuation," Working Papers wp086, University of Michigan, Michigan Retirement Research Center.
  • Handle: RePEc:mrr:papers:wp086
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    File URL: http://www.mrrc.isr.umich.edu/publications/Papers/pdf/wp086.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. 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.
    2. Jeffrey Brown, 2001. "Are the Elderly Really Over-Annuitized? New Evidence on Life Insurance and Bequests," NBER Chapters,in: Themes in the Economics of Aging, pages 91-126 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Hubbard, R Glenn & Skinner, Jonathan & Zeldes, Stephen P, 1995. "Precautionary Saving and Social Insurance," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 103(2), pages 360-399, April.
    4. 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.
    5. 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.
    6. Olivia S. Mitchell & Michael Gordon & Marc M. Twinney, "undated". "Assessing the Challenges to the Pension System," Pension Research Council Working Papers 95-1, Wharton School Pension Research Council, University of Pennsylvania.
    7. David M. Cutler & Ellen Meara, 2001. "The Concentration of Medical Spending: An Update," NBER Chapters,in: Themes in the Economics of Aging, pages 217-240 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. 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.
    9. Brown, Jeffrey R. & Mitchell, Olivia S. & Poterba, James M. & Warshawsky, Mark J., 2001. "The Role of Annuity Markets in Financing Retirement," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262529130, March.
    10. 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.
    11. James F. Moore & Olivia S. Mitchell, "undated". "Projected Retirement Wealth and Saving Adequacy," Pension Research Council Working Papers 98-1, Wharton School Pension Research Council, University of Pennsylvania.
    12. John F. Cogan & Olivia S. Mitchell, 2002. "The Role of Economic Policy in Social Security Reform: Perspectives from the President's Commission," NBER Working Papers 9166, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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