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Golden Years or Financial Fears? Decision Making After Retirement Seminars


  • Steven G. Allen
  • Robert L. Clark
  • Jennifer Maki
  • Melinda Sandler Morrill


Many organizations provide retirement planning seminars to their employees as a benefit to help them make better informed retirement decisions. This study examines the participants in 85 seminars conducted by five companies in 2008 and 2009 to determine how much learning takes place and whether employees adjust retirement plans. Using surveys conducted before and after the seminars, we find that financial literacy and knowledge of retirement program parameters are significantly higher after the seminar. Employees with the largest increases in knowledge were most likely to change their planned retirement age and planned age of claiming Social Security benefits.

Suggested Citation

  • Steven G. Allen & Robert L. Clark & Jennifer Maki & Melinda Sandler Morrill, 2013. "Golden Years or Financial Fears? Decision Making After Retirement Seminars," NBER Working Papers 19231, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:19231
    Note: AG LS

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. 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.
    2. Luc Behaghel & David M. Blau, 2012. "Framing Social Security Reform: Behavioral Responses to Changes in the Full Retirement Age," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 4(4), pages 41-67, November.
    3. Lusardi, Annamaria & Mitchell, Olivia S., 2007. "Baby Boomer retirement security: The roles of planning, financial literacy, and housing wealth," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(1), pages 205-224, January.
    4. Justine S. Hastings & Brigitte C. Madrian & William L. Skimmyhorn, 2013. "Financial Literacy, Financial Education, and Economic Outcomes," Annual Review of Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 5(1), pages 347-373, May.
    5. Wojciech Kopczuk & Jae Song, 2008. "Stylized Facts and Incentive Effects Related to Claiming of Retirement Benefits Based on Social Security Administration Data," Working Papers wp200, University of Michigan, Michigan Retirement Research Center.
    6. CLARK, ROBERT L. & d'AMBROSIO, MADELEINE B. & McDERMED, ANN A. & SAWANT, KSHAMA, 2006. "Retirement plans and saving decisions: the role of information and education," Journal of Pension Economics and Finance, Cambridge University Press, vol. 5(01), pages 45-67, March.
    7. Bernheim, B. Douglas & Garrett, Daniel M., 2003. "The effects of financial education in the workplace: evidence from a survey of households," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(7-8), pages 1487-1519, August.
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    JEL classification:

    • 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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