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The Effects of Subjective Survival on Retirement and Social Security Claiming

  • Michael D. Hurd
  • James P. Smith
  • Julie M. Zissimopoulos

According to the life-cycle model, mortality risk will influence both retirement and the desire to annuitize wealth. We estimate the effect of subjective survival probabilities on retirement and on the claiming of Social Security benefits because delayed claiming is equivalent to the purchase of additional Social Security annuities. We find that those with very low subjective probabilities of survival retire earlier and claim earlier than those with higher subjective probabilities, but the effects are not large. The great majority of workers claim as soon as they are eligible.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 9140.

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Date of creation: Sep 2002
Date of revision:
Publication status: published as Hurd, Michael D., James P. Smith and Julie M. Zissimopoulos. "The Effects Of Subjective Survival On Retirement And Social Security Claiming," Journal of Applied Econometrics, 2004, v19(6,Spec), 761-775.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:9140
Note: AG LS
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  1. Coile, Courtney & Diamond, Peter & Gruber, Jonathan & Jousten, Alain, 2002. "Delays in claiming social security benefits," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 84(3), pages 357-385, June.
  2. Jeffrey R. Brown, 1999. "Private Pensions, Mortality Risk, and the Decision to Annuitize," NBER Working Papers 7191, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Michael Hurd & Daniel McFadden & Angela Merrill, 1999. "Predictors of Mortality Among the Elderly," NBER Working Papers 7440, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Michael D. Hurd & Kathleen McGarry, 2002. "The Predictive Validity of Subjective Probabilities of Survival," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 112(482), pages 966-985, October.
  5. Arulampalam, W. & Robin A. Naylor & Jeremy P. Smith, 2002. "University of Warwick," Royal Economic Society Annual Conference 2002 9, Royal Economic Society.
  6. Jeffrey R. Brown & Mark J. Warshawsky, 2001. "Longevity-Insured Retirement Distributions from Pension Plans: Market and Regulatory Issues," NBER Working Papers 8064, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Kotlikoff, Laurence J & Spivak, Avia, 1981. "The Family as an Incomplete Annuities Market," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(2), pages 372-91, April.
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