IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/nbr/nberwo/8735.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Retirement Consumption: Insights from a Survey

Author

Listed:
  • John Ameriks
  • Andrew Caplin
  • John Leahy

Abstract

Prior research has established that consumption falls significantly at retirement. What is not known is the extent to which this fall is anticipated during the working years. Do working households expect such a large fall in consumption upon retirement, or are they taken by surprise? Using data from a new survey, we show that many working households do expect a considerable fall in consumption when they retire. In fact, those who are already retired report significantly smaller falls in consumption than are expected by those who are still working. We show that participation in the stock market plays a dominant role in explaining the gap between expectations and outcomes, indicating that much of the gap is a result of unexpected stock market appreciation. The survey produces new insights into the high level of uncertainty in the period leading up to retirement, and the surprises that may lie in store when households actually retire.

Suggested Citation

  • John Ameriks & Andrew Caplin & John Leahy, 2002. "Retirement Consumption: Insights from a Survey," NBER Working Papers 8735, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:8735
    Note: EFG
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w8735.pdf
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Robert B. Barsky & Miles S. Kimball & F. Thomas Juster & Matthew D. Shapiro, 1995. "Preference Parameters and Behavioral Heterogeneity: An Experimental Approach in the Health and Retirement Survey," NBER Working Papers 5213, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Banks, James & Blundell, Richard & Tanner, Sarah, 1998. "Is There a Retirement-Savings Puzzle?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(4), pages 769-788, September.
    3. Matthew Rabin & Ted O'Donoghue, 1999. "Doing It Now or Later," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(1), pages 103-124, March.
    4. John Ameriks & Andrew Caplin & John Leahy, 2003. "Wealth Accumulation and the Propensity to Plan," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 118(3), pages 1007-1047.
    5. Hamermesh, Daniel S, 1984. "Consumption during Retirement: The Missing Link in the Life Cycle," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 66(1), pages 1-7, February.
    6. Mariger, Randall P, 1987. "A Life-cycle Consumption Model with Liquidity Contraints: Theory and Empirical Results," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 55(3), pages 533-557, May.
    7. B. Douglas Bernheim & Jonathan Skinner & Steven Weinberg, 2001. "What Accounts for the Variation in Retirement Wealth among U.S. Households?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(4), pages 832-857, September.
    8. F. Thomas Juster, 1966. "Consumer Buying Intentions and Purchase Probability: An Experiment in Survey Design," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number just66-2.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Annamaria Lusardi, 2000. "Explaining Why So Many Households Do Not Save," Working Papers 0001, Harris School of Public Policy Studies, University of Chicago.
    2. Kevin X.D. Huang & Frank Caliendo, 2007. "Rationalizing Seven Consumption-Saving Puzzles in a Unified Framework," Vanderbilt University Department of Economics Working Papers 0716, Vanderbilt University Department of Economics.
    3. Kevin Huang & Frank Caliendo, 2011. "Rationalizing multiple consumption-saving puzzles in a unified framework," Frontiers of Economics in China, Springer;Higher Education Press, vol. 6(3), pages 359-388, September.
    4. 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.
    5. Frank N. Caliendo & Maria Casanova & Aspen Gorry & Sita Slavov, 2016. "The Welfare Cost of Retirement Uncertainty," NBER Working Papers 22609, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Lundberg, Shelly & Startza, Richard & Stillman, Steven, 2003. "The retirement-consumption puzzle: a marital bargaining approach," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(5-6), pages 1199-1218, May.
    7. John Laitner, 2004. "Precautionary Saving Over the Lifecycle," Working Papers wp083, University of Michigan, Michigan Retirement Research Center.
    8. Thomas Horvath & Thomas Url, 2013. "Bridging-Renten als Überbrückung für Einkommensausfälle vor dem Pensionsantritt," WIFO Studies, WIFO, number 46684, June.
    9. Almudena Sevilla-Sanz & Maria Jose Luengo-Prado, 2010. "Consumption, Retirement and Life-cycle Prices: Evidence From Spain," Economics Series Working Papers 498, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
    10. Garry F. Barrett & Matthew Brzozowski, 2010. "Involuntary Retirement and the Resolution of the Retirement-Consumption Puzzle: Evidence from Australia," Social and Economic Dimensions of an Aging Population Research Papers 275, McMaster University.
    11. Ayşe İmrohoroğlu & Selahattin İmrohoroğlu & Douglas H. Joines, 2003. "Time-Inconsistent Preferences and Social Security," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 118(2), pages 745-784.
    12. Steven J. Haider & Melvin Stephens, 2007. "Is There a Retirement-Consumption Puzzle? Evidence Using Subjective Retirement Expectations," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 89(2), pages 247-264, May.
    13. George A. Akerlof, 2003. "Behavioral Macroeconomics and Macroeconomic Behavior," The American Economist, Sage Publications, vol. 47(1), pages 25-47, March.
    14. B. Douglas Bernheim & Jonathan Skinner & Steven Weinberg, 2001. "What Accounts for the Variation in Retirement Wealth among U.S. Households?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(4), pages 832-857, September.
    15. John Laitner & Dan Silverman, 2005. "Estimating Life-Cycle Parameters from Consumption Behavior at Retirement," NBER Working Papers 11163, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    16. Weinert, Jan-Hendrik & Gründl, Helmut, 2016. "The modern tontine: An innovative instrument for longevity risk management in an aging society," ICIR Working Paper Series 22/16, Goethe University Frankfurt, International Center for Insurance Regulation (ICIR).
    17. Jim Been & Michael Hurd & Susann Rohwedder, 2014. "Responses of Time-use to Shocks in Wealth during the Great Recession," Working Papers wp313, University of Michigan, Michigan Retirement Research Center.
    18. Tim Krieger & Jens Ruhose, 2013. "Honey, I shrunk the kids’ benefits—revisiting intergenerational conflict in OECD countries," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 157(1), pages 115-143, October.
    19. Annamaria Lusardi, 2003. "The Impact of Financial Education on Savings and Asset," Working Papers wp061, University of Michigan, Michigan Retirement Research Center.
    20. Lundberg, Shelly & Startza, Richard & Stillman, Steven, 2003. "The retirement-consumption puzzle: a marital bargaining approach," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(5-6), pages 1199-1218, May.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E2 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment
    • D1 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior

    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:8735. 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: https://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 bibliographic 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.

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

    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.