Subjective Expectations, Social Security Benefits, and Saving for Retirement

Americans reach retirement with varying degrees of preparation, with many facing shortfalls in savings. We propose to use unique survey data collected among respondents to the Understanding America Study to measure the relative roles of subjective beliefs about retirement income — particularly…

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Social Security Household Benefits: Measuring Program Knowledge

Social Security offers two types of benefits for spouses: spousal and survivor benefits. Regardless of his or her own work history, a married individual can claim spousal Social Security benefits, which are equal to half of his or her spouse’s…

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Using Consequence Messaging to Improve Understanding of Social Security

In this paper, we developed and evaluated “consequence messaging,” a behaviorally motivated communication strategy in which we used vignettes — video and written stories about hypothetical people — to explain the consequences of decisions. We studied two related areas where…

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The Reintroduction of the Social Security Statement and its Effect on Social Security Expectations, Retirement Savings, and Labor Supply across the Age Distribution

This paper examines how the 2014 reintroduction of the Social Security statement, staggered by every fifth birth year, affected American Life Panel respondents’ Social Security expectations, savings behavior, and labor supply. The rich panel design of the ALP allows for…

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