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Retirement Date Effects on Pre-Retirement Wealth Accumulation: An Analysis of US Households


  • Aylit Tina Romm


This paper uses seven waves of data from the US Health and Retirement Study to investigate the impact of expectations regarding the timing of retirement on pre-retirement wealth accumulation. More specifically, we analyze the effect of the individual's subjective belief that he will work full time after age 62 on his current level of wealth. We use the individual's perception of the usual retirement age on the job as an instrument for his subjective belief that he will work full time after age 62. We look at single women, single men and married individuals separately. On a whole, the point estimates suggest that the responsiveness of individuals saving behaviour to retirement dates expectations is large. A ten percent-age point increase in the subjective probability of working past age 62 results in a decrease in household wealth well in excess of 20% for most demographic groups. In addition, we find that, in the case of married couples in particular, there is a threshold effect in this response

Suggested Citation

  • Aylit Tina Romm, 2012. "Retirement Date Effects on Pre-Retirement Wealth Accumulation: An Analysis of US Households," Working Papers 266, Economic Research Southern Africa.
  • Handle: RePEc:rza:wpaper:266

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Aylit Tina Romm & Martha Wolny, 2012. "The Impact of Later Retirement Ages on Aggregate Household Savings and Saving Rates: An Analysis of OECD Countries," Working Papers 269, Economic Research Southern Africa.

    More about this item


    Retirement timing; Subjective beliefs; Wealth;

    JEL classification:

    • E21 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Consumption; Saving; Wealth
    • J26 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Retirement; Retirement Policies

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