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The Effect of the Risk of Out-of-Pocket Spending for Health Care on Economic Preparation for Retirement

Author

Listed:
  • Michael D. Hurd

    (RAND and NBER)

  • Susann Rohwedder

    (RAND)

Abstract

After retirement, the primary sources of uncertainty with respect to an individual’s economic status are longevity, investment outcomes and out-of-pocket spending on health care. In previous work, we estimated economic preparation for retirement, taking into account the risk of living to an advanced old age and the concomitant risk of running out of resources. But while we accounted for the average level out-of-pocket spending for health care, we did not account for the risk of out-of-pocket spending. In this paper we augment our model for this omission. We find that the risk of out-of-pocket health care spending reduces economic preparation for retirement from about 72% of persons in the age range 65-69 to about 63%. However, this relatively modest reduction is quite unequally distributed: about 57% of single persons are adequately prepared when health care spending is not stochastic, but just 44% when it is. Among single women who are not high school graduates the percentage adequately prepared declines from 33% to 15%.

Suggested Citation

  • Michael D. Hurd & Susann Rohwedder, 2010. "The Effect of the Risk of Out-of-Pocket Spending for Health Care on Economic Preparation for Retirement," Working Papers wp232, University of Michigan, Michigan Retirement Research Center.
  • Handle: RePEc:mrr:papers:wp232
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    File URL: http://www.mrrc.isr.umich.edu/publications/Papers/pdf/wp232.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Michael D. Hurd & Susann Rohwedder, 2008. "The Adequacy of Economic Resources in Retirement," Working Papers wp184, University of Michigan, Michigan Retirement Research Center.
    2. Michael D. Hurd & Susann Rohwedder, 2009. "The Level and Risk of Out-of-Pocket Health Care Spending," Working Papers wp218, University of Michigan, Michigan Retirement Research Center.
    3. Michael D. Hurd & Susann Rohwedder, 2013. "Wealth Dynamics and Active Saving at Older Ages," NBER Chapters,in: Improving the Measurement of Consumer Expenditures, pages 388-413 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    Cited by:

    1. James Poterba & Steven Venti & David Wise, 2011. "The Composition and Drawdown of Wealth in Retirement," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 25(4), pages 95-118, Fall.

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