publication . Preprint . 2009

How Seniors Change Their Asset Holdings During Retirement

Karen Smith; Mauricio Soto; Rudolph G. Penner;
Open Access
  • Published: 01 Dec 2009
Abstract
We use the 1998-2006 waves of the Health and Retirement Study (HRS) to investigate how households change their asset holdings at older ages. We find a notable increase in the net worth of older households between 1998 and 2006, with most of the growth due to housing. Our results indicate that, through 2006, older households did not spend all of their capital gains. This asset accumulation provides older households with a financial cushion for the turbulence experienced after 2007. The wealth distribution is highly skewed, and the age patterns of asset accumulation and decumulation vary considerably by income group. High-income seniors increase assets at older ag...
Subjects
Medical Subject Headings: health care economics and organizations

50-54 55-59 60-64 65-59 70-74 75-79 80-84 85+ 1942-1946 1937-1941 1932-1936 1927-1931 1922-1926 Before 1922 100% 50%

Source: Authors' calculations using the Health and Retirement Study (1998-2006).

Notes: Analysis is based on 40,250 unweighted person-year observations (8,050 unique households) born before 1947. Percapita income quintile is based on 2006 value by cohort. DB wealth is the net present value of defined benefit pension and annuity income in 2008 dollars.

1942-1946 1937-1941 1932-119053006%% 5 71927-1931 Source: Authors' calculations using the Health and Retirement Study (1998-2006).

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