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What is an Adequate Standard of Living during Retirement?

  • Schunk, Daniel

    ()

    (University of Zürich Institute for Empirical Research in Economics)

  • Binswanger, Johannes

    ()

    (Tilburg University, Department of Economics)

Many economists and policy-makers argue that households do not save enough to maintain an adequate standard of living during retirement. However, there is no consensus on the answer to the underlying question what this standard should be, despite the fact that it is crucial for the design of saving incentives and pension reforms. We address this question with a randomized survey design, individually tailored to each respondent's financial situation, and conducted both in the U.S. and the Netherlands. Key findings are that adequate levels of retirement spending exceed 80 percent of working life spending for a majority of respondents, minimum acceptable replacement rates depend strongly on income, and households in the Netherlands are much more risk averse than U.S. households.

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Paper provided by Sonderforschungsbereich 504, Universität Mannheim & Sonderforschungsbereich 504, University of Mannheim in its series Sonderforschungsbereich 504 Publications with number 08-48.

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Length: 37 pages
Date of creation: 03 Dec 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:xrs:sfbmaa:08-48
Note: Financial support from the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, SFB 504, at the University of Mannheim, is gratefully acknowledged by Daniel Schunk.
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  1. Lusardi, Annamaria & Mitchell, Olivia S., 2006. "Baby boomer retirement security: The roles of planning, financial literacy, and Housing wealth," CFS Working Paper Series 2006/20, Center for Financial Studies (CFS).
  2. Banks, James & Blundell, Richard & Tanner, Sarah, 1998. "Is There a Retirement-Savings Puzzle?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(4), pages 769-88, September.
  3. John Beshears & James J. Choi & David Laibson & Brigitte C. Madrian, 2009. "The Importance of Default Options for Retirement Saving Outcomes: Evidence from the United States," NBER Chapters, in: Social Security Policy in a Changing Environment, pages 167-195 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. van Rooij, M.C.J. & Kool, C.J.M. & Prast, H.M., 2007. "Risk-return preferences in the pension domain : Are people able to choose?," Other publications TiSEM 22820590-ad4e-4abc-bd21-4, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
  5. Mark Aguiar & Erik Hurst, 2007. "Life-Cycle Prices and Production," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(5), pages 1533-1559, December.
  6. Binswanger, Johannes, 2007. "Risk management of pensions from the perspective of loss aversion," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 91(3-4), pages 641-667, April.
  7. Jonathan Skinner, 2007. "Are You Sure You're Saving Enough for Retirement?," NBER Working Papers 12981, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. John Karl Scholz & Ananth Seshadri & Surachai Khitatrakun, 2006. "Are Americans Saving "Optimally" for Retirement?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 114(4), pages 607-643, August.
  9. repec:ner:tilbur:urn:nbn:nl:ui:12-381463 is not listed on IDEAS
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