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http://ssrn.com/abstract=1082051
 
 

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Managing the Risk of Life


Adeline Delavande


New University of Lisbon - Faculdade de Economia

Robert J. Willis


University of Michigan at Ann Arbor - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

October 1, 2007

Michigan Retirement Research Center Research Paper No. UM WP 2007-167

Abstract:     
This study analyzes the role of individual's and spouse's survival expectations and knowledge about Social Security rules on the expected Social Security claiming age, taking into account the various incentives single and married individuals face. There is substantial heterogeneity in the level of knowledge about SS rules according to demographic characteristics. We find that single men and women who expect to be longlived plan on delaying Social Security claiming. When we allow for differential effects of survival on knowledge about Social Security rules, subjective survivals matter only for single women who are knowledgeable. For single men, knowledge is not so important in their decisions. The claiming decision of married individuals is more complicated, because they are entitled to spouse's and survivor's benefits. Consistent with the incentives provided by Social Security rules, we find that married men base their expected claiming age on their spouse's survival expectations but not on their own survival. For married women, both own and spouse's subjective survivals positively influence the timing of claiming. Knowledge about Social Security rules affects the expected claiming age of both married men and women.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 38

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Date posted: February 22, 2008 ; Last revised: July 31, 2008

Suggested Citation

Delavande, Adeline and Willis, Robert J., Managing the Risk of Life (October 1, 2007). Michigan Retirement Research Center Research Paper No. UM WP 2007-167. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1082051 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1082051

Contact Information

Adeline Delavande (Contact Author)
New University of Lisbon - Faculdade de Economia ( email )
Campus de Campolide
Lisboa, 1099-032
Portugal
+35 1 21 380 16 00 (Phone)
+35 1 21 387 09 33 (Fax)
HOME PAGE: http://docentes.fe.unl.pt/~adeline/page2.html
Robert J. Willis
University of Michigan at Ann Arbor - Department of Economics ( email )
611 Tappan Street
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1220
United States
National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)
1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States
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