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The Impact of Misperceptions about Social Security on Saving and Well-being

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  • Susann Rohwedder

    (RAND)

  • Arthur van Soest

    (RAND)

Abstract

Earlier research suggests that many people in their fifties and early sixties are not well informed about their Social Security benefit entitlements in old age. This paper investigates the effect of deviations between individuals’ anticipated and realized Social Security benefits on several measures of well-being in retirement, such as the change in consumption expenditures at retirement, a self-assessed measure of how retirement years compare to the years before retirement, and whether the retired individual is worried about having enough income to get by. The analysis is based upon US data from the Health and Retirement Study, following individuals over a long time period from their fifties into retirement. We find that people who over estimated their Social Security benefits are worse off according to several measures of well being in retirement. This relationship seems to be more pronounced for respondents who claimed benefits earlier than anticipated than for those who were misinformed.

Suggested Citation

  • Susann Rohwedder & Arthur van Soest, 2006. "The Impact of Misperceptions about Social Security on Saving and Well-being," Working Papers wp118, University of Michigan, Michigan Retirement Research Center.
  • Handle: RePEc:mrr:papers:wp118
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Luc Bissonnette & Arthur van Soest, 2012. "The future of retirement and the pension system: How the public’s expectations vary over time and across socio-economic groups," IZA Journal of European Labor Studies, Springer;Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit GmbH (IZA), vol. 1(1), pages 1-21, December.
    2. Vesile Kutlu-Koc & Adriaan Kalwij, 2017. "Individual Survival Expectations and Actual Mortality: Evidence from Dutch Survey and Administrative Data," European Journal of Population, Springer;European Association for Population Studies, vol. 33(4), pages 509-532, October.
    3. Steven Haider & Mel StephensJr., 2006. "How Accurate are Expected Retirement Savings?," Working Papers wp128, University of Michigan, Michigan Retirement Research Center.
    4. Jeffrey B. Liebman & Erzo F. P. Luttmer, 2012. "The Perception of Social Security Incentives for Labor Supply and Retirement: The Median Voter Knows More Than You'd Think," Tax Policy and the Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 26(1), pages 1-42.
    5. Bissonnette, L. & van Soest, A.H.O., 2010. "Retirement Expectations, Preferences, and Decisions," Other publications TiSEM 45e93b08-cc1d-47c6-ba06-d, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
    6. Junya Hamaaki, 2013. "The Pension System and Household Consumption and Saving Behavior," Public Policy Review, Policy Research Institute, Ministry of Finance Japan, vol. 9(4), pages 687-716, September.

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