Adding New Variables to the RAND HRS Longitudinal File to Better Support Research on Disability

In September 2020, the MRDRC held a data development workshop on “Disability Research with the Health and Retirement Study (HRS),” where researchers highlighted the importance and richness of the HRS for the study of disability, but identified some challenges to…

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The Impact of Growing Health and Mortality Inequalities on Lifetime Social Security Payouts

The prevalence of obesity, diabetes, and other health problems has increased in recent decades in the United States, and there is a growing gap between the health and longevity of individuals with high socioeconomic status (SES) and low SES. These…

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Cognitive Ability, Cognitive Aging, and Debt Accumulation

In the past few decades, financial products target to consumers have become increasingly complex and recent evidence suggests that older adults are entering retirement with more debt than previous generations. We examine how cognitive ability is related to debt burdens…

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The Risk of High Out-of-Pocket Health Spending among Older Americans

Traditional Medicare imposes significant cost-sharing on beneficiaries. Most but not all beneficiaries obtain supplemental insurance through Medigap, Medicare Advantage, Medicaid, or employer-sponsored retiree coverage, which may vary in how well they protect against the risk of high spending. This paper…

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Do Workers Injured on the Job and Covered by Workers Compensation End Up on SSDI?

I use data from the Health and Retirement Study (HRS) to study whether workers who suffer permanently disabling injuries covered by Workers Compensation (WC) subsequently end up on SSDI. If this occurs, then the experience rating in WC may be…

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What We Talk about When We Talk about Self-employment: Examining Self-employment and the Transition to Retirement among Older Adults in the United States

Many older adults engage in self-employment, yet little is known about the nature of these activities, which can range from occasional gig employment to contract work to business ownership, their implications for income and economic security, work and retirement, and…

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The Lifetime Risk of Spousal Nursing Home Use and its Economic Impact on the Community-Dwelling Spouse

A single person in a nursing home is relatively well protected financially, because Medicaid covers nursing home expenses once assets are depleted. Couples, however, are less well protected. For them a great financial threat is that one spouse moves to…

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The Impact of Medical Spending Shocks on the Wealth and Insurance Purchases of Older Americans

Using data from the Health and Retirement Study (HRS) and the Medicare Current Beneficiary Survey (MCBS), we estimate a dynamic model of medical spending and how medical spending shocks affect the wealth and insurance purchases of older Americans. Our analysis…

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The Relationship between Adverse Experiences over the Life Course and Later-life Retirement Due to Disability

We will use data about early- and mid-life adversity from the Health and Retirement Study, including the new Life History Mail Survey, to examine the effects of adverse experiences on retirement due to disability. We hypothesize that early- and midlife…

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The Role of Physical and Cognitive Job Demands on Transitions into Retirement

Using data from the Health and Retirement Study (HRS) and the Occupational Requirements Survey (ORS), this proposed research project will examine the effects of physical and cognitive job demands, as well as educational requirements, on heterogeneous pathways from full-time work…

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