When the Nest Egg Cracks: Financial Consequences of Health Problems, Marital Status Changes, and Job Layoffs at Older Ages

43 Pages Posted: 24 Jun 2008

See all articles by Richard W. Johnson

Richard W. Johnson

Urban Institute - Income and Benefits Policy Center; National Academy of Social Insurance (NASI)

Gordon Mermin

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Cori E. Uccello

American Academy of Actuaries

Date Written: December 2005

Abstract

The risk of falling into poor health, losing the ability to work or live independently, becoming widowed, and experiencing other negative events that threaten financial security increase with age. This report computes the incidence of these negative events at older ages and examines their impact on economic well-being. Over a 10-year period, more than three-quarters of adults age 51 to 61 at the beginning of the period experience job layoffs, widowhood, divorce, new health problems, or the onset of frailty among parents or in-laws. More than two-thirds of adults age 70 and older experience at least one negative shock over a nine-year period. Incidence rates are even higher at the household level for married people, who face the added risk that their spouses could develop health problems or lose their jobs. Financial consequences are especially serious for older adults who develop work disabilities or long-term care needs, or who become unemployed.

Suggested Citation

Johnson, Richard Warren and Mermin, Gordon and Uccello, Cori E., When the Nest Egg Cracks: Financial Consequences of Health Problems, Marital Status Changes, and Job Layoffs at Older Ages (December 2005). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1150386 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1150386

Richard Warren Johnson (Contact Author)

Urban Institute - Income and Benefits Policy Center ( email )

2100 M Street, NW
Washington, DC 20037
United States
202-261-5541 (Phone)
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National Academy of Social Insurance (NASI)

1776 Massachusetts Avenue, NW
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Washington, DC 20036-1904
United States

Gordon Mermin

affiliation not provided to SSRN ( email )

Cori E. Uccello

American Academy of Actuaries ( email )

1850 M Street, NW
Suite 300
Washington, DC 20036
United States

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