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What the Stock Market Decline Means for the Financial Security and Retirement Choices of the Near-Retirement Population

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  • Alan L. Gustman
  • Thomas L. Steinmeier
  • Nahid Tabatabai

Abstract

This paper investigates the effect of the current recession on the near-retirement age population. Data from the Health and Retirement Study suggest that those approaching retirement age (early boomers ages 53 to 58 in 2006) have only 15.2 percent of their wealth in stocks, held directly or in defined contribution plans or IRAs. Their vulnerability to a stock market decline is limited by the high value of their Social Security wealth, which represents over a quarter of the total household wealth of the early boomers. In addition, their defined contribution plans remain immature, so their defined benefit plans represent sixty five percent of their pension wealth. Simulations with a structural retirement model suggest the stock market decline will lead the early boomers to postpone their retirement by only 1.5 months on average. Health and Retirement Study data also show that those approaching retirement are not likely to be greatly or immediately affected by the decline in housing prices. We end with a discussion of important difficulties facing those who would use labor market policies to increase the employment of older workers.

Suggested Citation

  • Alan L. Gustman & Thomas L. Steinmeier & Nahid Tabatabai, 2009. "What the Stock Market Decline Means for the Financial Security and Retirement Choices of the Near-Retirement Population," NBER Working Papers 15435, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:15435
    Note: AG LS
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Michael D. Hurd & Monika Reti & Susann Rohwedder, 2009. "The Effect of Large Capital Gains or Losses on Retirement," NBER Chapters,in: Developments in the Economics of Aging, pages 127-163 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    Cited by:

    1. John Y. Campbell & Howell E. Jackson & Brigitte C. Madrian & Peter Tufano, 2011. "Consumer Financial Protection," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 25(1), pages 91-114, Winter.
    2. Venti Steven, 2011. "Economic Measurement in the Health and Retirement Study," Forum for Health Economics & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 14(3), pages 1-20, April.
    3. Lane Kenworthy & Timothy Smeeding, 2013. "GINI Country Report: Growing Inequalities and their Impacts in the United States," GINI Country Reports united_states, AIAS, Amsterdam Institute for Advanced Labour Studies.
    4. Jeffrey P. Thompson & Timothy Smeeding, 2013. "Inequality and poverty in the United States: the aftermath of the Great Recession," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2013-51, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    5. Andreas Hubener & Raimond Maurer & Olivia S. Mitchell, 2016. "How Family Status and Social Security Claiming Options Shape Optimal Life Cycle Portfolios," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 29(4), pages 937-978.
    6. Nicolas Sirven & Thomas Barnay, 2017. "Expectations, loss aversion and retirement decisions in the context of the 2009 crisis in Europe," International Journal of Manpower, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 38(1), pages 25-44, April.
    7. Joan Kahn & Frances Goldscheider & Javier García-Manglano, 2013. "Growing Parental Economic Power in Parent–Adult Child Households: Coresidence and Financial Dependency in the United States, 1960–2010," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 50(4), pages 1449-1475, August.
    8. Coile Courtney C & Levine Phillip B, 2011. "The Market Crash and Mass Layoffs: How the Current Economic Crisis May Affect Retirement," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 11(1), pages 1-42, April.
    9. Chai, Jingjing & Maurer, Raimond H. & Mitchell, Olivia S. & Rogalla, Ralph, 2011. "Lifecycle impacts of the financial and economic crisis on household optimal consumption, portfolio choice, and labor supply," CFS Working Paper Series 2011/23, Center for Financial Studies (CFS).
    10. Gustafson, Matthew T., 2017. "The market sensitivity of retirement and defined contribution pensions: Evidence from the public sector," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 145(C), pages 1-13.
    11. Kathleen Arano & Carl Parker, 2016. "The great recession and changes in faculty expected retirement age," Journal of Economics and Finance, Springer;Academy of Economics and Finance, vol. 40(1), pages 127-136, January.
    12. Gopi Shah Goda & John B. Shoven & Sita Nataraj Slavov, 2012. "Does Stock Market Performance Influence Retirement Intentions?," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 47(4), pages 1055-1081.
    13. repec:eee:hapoch:v1_237 is not listed on IDEAS
    14. Catalina Amuedo-Dorantes & Susan Pozo, 2015. "The impact of the recession on the wealth of older immigrant and native households in the United States," IZA Journal of Labor Policy, Springer;Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit GmbH (IZA), vol. 4(1), pages 1-27, December.
    15. Börsch-Supan, A. & Härtl, K. & Leite, D.N., 2016. "Social Security and Public Insurance," Handbook of the Economics of Population Aging, Elsevier.
    16. Andrikopoulos, Andreas & Angelidis, Timotheos & Skintzi, Vasiliki, 2014. "Illiquidity, return and risk in G7 stock markets: Interdependencies and spillovers," International Review of Financial Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 35(C), pages 118-127.
    17. Giuseppe Grande & Ignazio Visco, 2010. "A public guarantee of a minimum return to defined contribution pension scheme members," Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) 762, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
    18. Devlin-Foltz, Sebastian & Henriques, Alice M. & Sabelhaus, John, 2015. "The Evolution of Retirement Wealth," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2015-9, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    19. Irina Merkurieva, 2016. "Late Career Job Loss and the Decision to Retire," Discussion Paper Series, Department of Economics 201606, Department of Economics, University of St. Andrews.
    20. Davies, James B. & Yu, Xiaoyu, 2013. "Impacts of Cyclical Downturns on the Third Pillar of the RIS and Policy Responses," CLSSRN working papers clsrn_admin-2013-20, Vancouver School of Economics, revised 29 Apr 2013.
    21. Courtney C. Coile, 2015. "Economic Determinants Of Workers’ Retirement Decisions," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 29(4), pages 830-853, September.
    22. Kathleen G. Arano & Carl D. Parker, 2016. "The great recession and changes in faculty expected retirement age," Journal of Economics and Finance, Springer;Academy of Economics and Finance, vol. 40(1), pages 127-136, January.
    23. Fang, H., 2016. "Insurance Markets for the Elderly," Handbook of the Economics of Population Aging, Elsevier.
    24. David Love & Lucie Schmidt, 2015. "Comprehensive Wealth of Immigrants and Natives," Working Papers wp328, University of Michigan, Michigan Retirement Research Center.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D31 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - Personal Income and Wealth Distribution
    • D91 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics - - - Role and Effects of Psychological, Emotional, Social, and Cognitive Factors on Decision Making
    • E21 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Consumption; Saving; Wealth
    • H55 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Social Security and Public Pensions
    • I3 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty
    • J14 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of the Elderly; Economics of the Handicapped; Non-Labor Market Discrimination
    • J26 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Retirement; Retirement Policies
    • J32 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Nonwage Labor Costs and Benefits; Retirement Plans; Private Pensions

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