How Did the Recession of 2007-2009 Affect the Wealth and Retirement of the Near Retirement Age Population in the Health and Retirement Study?

Published: 2011
Project ID: UM11-08


HRS data from 2010 will be used to determine the effects of the 2007-2009 recession on the wealth and retirement of the early boomer population. Previously, we used 2006 data to examine their potential vulnerability to the stock market decline. Specifically, we estimated the share of assets held in stocks, and found them to be small compared to the values of pensions, Social Security and other wealth. Here we will examine additional adverse effects of the recession. Factors not examined previously to be considered include changes in defined benefit and defined contribution pensions, including plan terminations; layoffs and subsequent joblessness; lost earnings; early benefit claiming; and, housing losses. Populations subject to multiple adverse events, e.g., job loss, inability to pay the mortgage, will also be studied.