To Roth or not to Roth: Taxing retirement plan contributions instead of payouts

Tax-deferred retirement savings plans include independent retirement accounts (IRAs) and employer-sponsored 401(k), 457, and 403(b) plans. These “save now, pay taxes later” plans mean a saver won’t pay income taxes on their contributions. Instead, they pay income taxes when they…

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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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Wealthy, educated retirees benefit from tax-advantaged retirement savings

Tax-advantaged savings plans—such as IRAs, Keogh, 401ks—have a significant tax cost. Understanding their roles and effectiveness in retirement funding is crucial to assessing whether their benefits outweigh their price. Until fairly recently, measuring these accounts’ economic impact was difficult because…

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Tracking the elusive irregular IRA withdrawal

If Michael Hurd, Erik Meijer, Philip Pantoja, and Susann Rohwedder’s “Addition to the RAND HRS Longitudinal Files: IRA Withdrawals in the HRS, 2000-2014” were a home improvement project, the researchers would have put up spacious bookshelves in the Health and…

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Addition to the RAND HRS Longitudinal Files: IRA Withdrawals in the HRS, 2000 to 2014

In support of research on the older population, we produced cleaned variables based on data from the Health and Retirement Study (HRS) to capture information on withdrawals from individual retirement accounts (IRAs). Where necessary, imputations for missing values have been…

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Savings, Portfolio Choice, and Retirement Expectations

Studying household investment behavior is essential for understanding the full consequences of old age social security benefits. Using data from six waves of the Health and Retirement Study, we analyze the dynamics of portfolio composition before respondents start claiming social…

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Personal Accounts and Family Retirement

This paper constructs a model of retirement and saving by two earner couples. The model includes three dimensions of behavior: the joint determination of retirement and saving; heterogeneity in time preference; and the interdependence of retirement decisions of husbands and…

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