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

Social Security Bulletin 72(4): 47-66, 2012

20 Pages Posted: 10 Nov 2012 Last revised: 25 Apr 2015

See all articles by Alan L. Gustman

Alan L. Gustman

Dartmouth College - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Thomas L. Steinmeier

Texas Tech University - Department of Economics and Geography

Nahid Tabatabai

Dartmouth College - Department of Economics

Multiple version iconThere are 3 versions of this paper

Date Written: 2012

Abstract

Retirement Study? This article uses household wealth and labor market data from the Health and Retirement Study (HRS) to investigate how the recent "Great Recession" has affected the wealth and retirement of those approaching retirement age as the recession began, a potentially vulnerable population. The retirement wealth of people aged 53–58 in 2006 declined by a relatively modest 2.8 percent by 2010. Relative losses were greatest among those with the highest wealth when the recession began. Most of the loss in wealth is due to a declining net value of housing, but several factors may provide this cohort with time to recover its housing losses. Although unemployment rose during the Great Recession, that increase was not mirrored by flows out of full-time work or partial retirement. To date, the retirement behavior of the Early Boomer cohort does not differ much from that of older cohorts at comparable ages.

Keywords: Social Security, pensions, retirement age, wealth and the elderly, savings, HRS study

JEL Classification: D31, D91, E21, H55, I3, J14, J26, J32

Suggested Citation

Gustman, Alan L. and Steinmeier, Thomas L. and Tabatabai, Nahid, How Did the Recession of 2007–2009 Affect the Wealth and Retirement of the Near Retirement Age Population in the Health and Retirement Study? (2012). Social Security Bulletin 72(4): 47-66, 2012, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2172491

Alan L. Gustman (Contact Author)

Dartmouth College - Department of Economics ( email )

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National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

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Thomas L. Steinmeier

Texas Tech University - Department of Economics and Geography ( email )

Lubbock, TX 79409-2101
United States
806-742-2201 (Phone)

Nahid Tabatabai

Dartmouth College - Department of Economics ( email )

Hanover, NH 03755
United States

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