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Savings, Portfolio Choice, and Retirement Expectations

  • Arthur van Soest

    (RAND)

  • Arie Kaptey

    (RAND)

Studying household investment behavior is essential for understanding the full consequences of old age social security benefits. Using data from six waves of the Health and Retirement Study, we analyze the dynamics of portfolio composition before respondents start claiming social security benefits. We consider ownership as well as amounts held of several types of assets and debts. Using panel data censored regression models, portfolio adjustment is explained on the basis of demographics like gender, race, and year of birth, education level, household income, and perceived social security entitlements. We find that expectations of old age social security benefits have little effect on portfolio decisions, although there is some evidence that higher expected social security benefits lead to more risky financial investments, particularly in IRAs.

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File URL: http://www.mrrc.isr.umich.edu/publications/Papers/pdf/wp119.pdf
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Paper provided by University of Michigan, Michigan Retirement Research Center in its series Working Papers with number wp119.

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Length: 24 pages
Date of creation: May 2006
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:mrr:papers:wp119
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  1. Carol Bertaut & Martha Starr-McCluer, 2000. "Household portfolios in the United States," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2000-26, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  2. Marjorie Flavin & Takashi Yamashita, 2002. "Owner-Occupied Housing and the Composition of the Household Portfolio," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(1), pages 345-362, March.
  3. Harvey S. Rosen & Stephen Wu, 2003. "Portfolio Choice and Health Status," NBER Working Papers 9453, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. James M. Poterba & Andrew Samwick, 1999. "Taxation and Household Portfolio Composition: U.S. Evidence from the 1980s and 1990s," NBER Working Papers 7392, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Luigi Guiso & Tullio Jappelli, 2000. "Household Portfolios in Italy," CSEF Working Papers 43, Centre for Studies in Economics and Finance (CSEF), University of Naples, Italy.
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