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Financial Literacy and Financial Sophistication in the Older Population: Evidence from the 2008 HRS

  • Annamaria Lusardi

    (Dartmouth College)

  • Olivia S. Mitchell

    (The Wharton School)

  • Vilsa Curto

    (Harvard University)

This paper analyzes new data on financial literacy and financial sophistication from the 2008 Health and Retirement Study. We show that financial literacy is lacking among older individuals and for the first time explore additional questions on financial sophistication which proves even scarcer. For this sample of older respondents over the age of 55, we find that people lack even a rudimentary understanding of stock and bond prices, risk diversification, portfolio choice, and investment fees. In view of the fact that individuals are increasingly required to take on responsibility for their own retirement security, this lack of knowledge has serious implications.

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Paper provided by University of Michigan, Michigan Retirement Research Center in its series Working Papers with number wp216.

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Length: 34 pages
Date of creation: Sep 2009
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:mrr:papers:wp216
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