Explanations for the Decline in Spending at Older Ages

We propose to use new data from the 2019 wave of the Consumption and Activities Mail Survey to help interpret the observed decline in spending as individuals age. At one extreme, forward-looking individuals optimally chose the decline; at the other,…

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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), this project will estimate a dynamic model of medical spending and how medical spending shocks affect the wealth and insurance purchases of older Americans.…

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Winter 2020 Newsletter: MRDRC releases key findings from 2019 papers

MRDRC published eight working papers in 2019 on topics such as totalization agreements, global interest rate trends, and retirement inequality. Informing projections Interest Rate Trends in a Global Context Dmitriy Stolyarov and Linda Tesar WP 2019-402; UM19-05 Two methodologies are…

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Subjective Expectations, Social Security Benefits, and the Optimal Path to Retirement

Americans face the challenges of retirement with varying degrees of preparation. Evidence indicates that that many individuals may not be making the best possible choices with respect to their Social Security and retirement savings. We assess the subjective expectations of…

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Saving Regret: Self-assessed Life-cycle Saving Behavior in the U.S. and Singapore

Some studies have raised concerns that many households reach retirement with limited financial resources. The behavioral economics literature posits that procrastination may be an important explanation. We fielded a survey in the RAND American Life Panel, asking respondents ages 60…

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Social Security Wealth, Inequality, and Life-cycle Saving

Household wealth inequality in the U.S. has been rising, but those measures do not include Social Security. For individual Social Security participants, Social Security Wealth (SSW) is equal to the present value of future benefits less the present value of…

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