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
Date Written: 2012
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: Suggested Citation