IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/nbr/nberwo/6240.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Projected Retirement Wealth and Savings Adequacy in the Health and Retirement Study

Author

Listed:
  • James F. Moore
  • Olivia S. Mitchell

Abstract

Low saving rates raise questions about Americans' ability to maintain consumption levels in old age. Using the Health and Retirement Study, this paper explores asset holdings among a nationally representative sample of people on the verge of retirement. Making reasonable projections about asset growth, we assess how much more people would need to save in order to preserve consumption levels after retirement. We find that the median older household has current wealth of approximately $325,000 including pensions, social security, housing, and other financial wealth, an amount projected to grow to about $380,000 by retirement at age 62. Nevertheless, our model suggests that this median household will still need to save 16% of annual earnings to preserve pre-retirement consumption. For retirement at age 65, assets are expected to be about $420,000 and required additional saving totals 7% of earnings per year. These summary statistics conceal extraordinary heterogeneity in both assets and saving needs in the older population. Older high wealth households have 45 times more assets than the poorest decile and this disparity increases with age. There are also large differences in prescribed saving targets, ranging from 38% of annual earnings for those in the lowest wealth decile to negative rates for the wealthiest decile.

Suggested Citation

  • James F. Moore & Olivia S. Mitchell, 1997. "Projected Retirement Wealth and Savings Adequacy in the Health and Retirement Study," NBER Working Papers 6240, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:6240 Note: AG
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w6240.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Jagadeesh Gokhale & Laurence J. Kotlikoff & John Sabelhaus, 1996. "Understanding the Postwar Decline in U.S. Saving: A Cohort Analysis," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 27(1), pages 315-407.
    2. Olivia S. Mitchell & Jan Olson & Thomas Steinmeier, "undated". "Construction of the Earnings and Benefits File (EBF) for Use with the Health and Retirement Survey," Pension Research Council Working Papers 98-19, Wharton School Pension Research Council, University of Pennsylvania.
    3. Michael D. Hurd & Kathleen McGarry, 1995. "Evaluation of the Subjective Probabilities of Survival in the Health and Retirement Study," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 30, pages s268-s292.
    4. Olivia S. Mitchell & James F. Moore, "undated". "Retirement Wealth Accumulation and Decumulation: New Developments and Outstanding Opportunities," Pension Research Council Working Papers 97-8, Wharton School Pension Research Council, University of Pennsylvania.
    5. Karl E. Case, 1994. "Land Prices and House Prices in the United States," NBER Chapters,in: Housing Markets in the United States and Japan, pages 29-48 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Creedy, John & Gemmell, Norman & Scobie, Grant, 2015. "Pensions, savings and housing: A life-cycle framework with policy simulations," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, pages 346-357.
    2. Barbara A. Butrica & Gordon B.T. Mermin, 2006. "Annuitized Wealth and Consumption at Older Ages," Working Papers, Center for Retirement Research at Boston College wp2006-26, Center for Retirement Research, revised Dec 2006.
    3. Elsa Fornero & Annamaria Lusardi & Chiara Monticone, 2009. "Adequacy of Saving for Old Age in Europe," CeRP Working Papers 87, Center for Research on Pensions and Welfare Policies, Turin (Italy).
    4. James Poterba & Joshua Rauh & Steven Venti & David Wise, 2007. "Defined Contribution Plans, Defined Benefit Plans, and the Accumulation of Retirement Wealth," NBER Chapters,in: Public Policy and Retirement, Trans-Atlantic Public Economics Seminar (TAPES), pages 2062-2086 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. A Lusardi & J Skinner & S Venti, 2001. "Saving puzzles and saving policies in the United States," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 17(1), pages 95-115, Spring.
    6. B. Douglas Bernheim & Katherine Grace Carman & Jagadeesh Gokhale & Laurence J. Kotlikoff, 2001. "The Mismatch Between Life Insurance Holdings and Financial Vulnerabilities: Evidence from the Survey of Consumer Finances," NBER Working Papers 8544, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Grant Scobie & Trinh Le & John Gibson, 2007. "Housing in the Household Portfolio and Implications for Retirement Saving: Some Initial Finding from SOFIE," Treasury Working Paper Series 07/04, New Zealand Treasury.
    8. Chan Sewin & Stevens Ann H, 2004. "How Does Job Loss Affect the Timing of Retirement?," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, pages 1-26.
    9. repec:wsi:serxxx:v:50:y:2005:i:spec0:n:s0217590805002128 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. Eric M. Engen & William G. Gale & Cori E. Uccello, 2005. "Effects Of Stock Market Fluctuations On The Adequacy Of Retirement Wealth Accumulation," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 51(3), pages 397-418, September.
    11. Steven F. Venti & David A. Wise, 2004. "Aging and Housing Equity: Another Look," NBER Chapters,in: Perspectives on the Economics of Aging, pages 127-180 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    12. Michael S. Finke & Sandra J. Huston & Deanna L. Sharpe, 2006. "Balance sheets of early boomers: are they different from pre-boomers?," Journal of Family and Economic Issues, Springer, vol. 27(3), pages 542-561, September.
    13. B. Douglas Bernheim & Lorenzo Forni & Jagadeesh Gokhale & Laurence J. Kotlikoff, 2001. "The mismatch between life insurance holdings and financial vulnerabilities: evidence from the Health and Retirement Survey," Working Paper 0109, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.
    14. Brown, Jeffrey R., 2001. "Private pensions, mortality risk, and the decision to annuitize," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, pages 29-62.
    15. Shiller, Robert J., 1999. "Social security and institutions for intergenerational, intragenerational, and international risk-sharing," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, pages 165-204.
    16. B. Douglas Bernheim & Lorenzo Forni & Jagadeesh Gokhale & Laurence J. Kotlikoff, 1999. "The adequacy of life insurance: evidence from the health and retirement survey," Working Paper 9914, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.
    17. Shiller, Robert J., 1999. "Social security and institutions for intergenerational, intragenerational, and international risk-sharing," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, pages 165-204.
    18. Yuh, Yoonkyung & Hanna, Sherman & Phillips Montalto, Catherine, 1998. "Mean and pessimistic projections of retirement adequacy," Financial Services Review, Elsevier, pages 175-193.
    19. Sewin Chan & Ann Huff Stevens, 2001. "Retirement Incentives and Expectations," NBER Working Papers 8082, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    20. Barbara A. Butrica, 2007. "How Economic Security Changes During Retirement," Working Papers, Center for Retirement Research at Boston College wp2007-06, Center for Retirement Research, revised Feb 2007.
    21. B. Douglas Bernheim & Solange Berstein, 2002. "Saving and Life Insurance Holdings at Boston University – A Unique Case Study," Working Papers Central Bank of Chile 161, Central Bank of Chile.
    22. Lina Walker, 2004. "Elderly Households and Housing Wealth: Do They Use It or Lose It?," Working Papers wp070, University of Michigan, Michigan Retirement Research Center.
    23. Steven F. Venti & David A. Wise, 2000. "Aging and Housing Equity," NBER Working Papers 7882, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • J14 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of the Elderly; Economics of the Handicapped; Non-Labor Market Discrimination
    • G23 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Non-bank Financial Institutions; Financial Instruments; Institutional Investors

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:6240. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/nberrus.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.