Are Retirees Falling Short? Reconciling the Conflicting Evidence

42 Pages Posted: 12 Nov 2014

See all articles by Alicia H. Munnell

Alicia H. Munnell

Boston College - Center for Retirement Research

Matthew S. Rutledge

Boston College, Center for Retirement Research

Anthony Webb

Boston College - Center for Retirement Research

Date Written: September 1, 2014

Abstract

A fundamental question in the retirement area is whether people will have adequate retirement income to maintain their pre-retirement standard of living. Existing studies offer conflicting assessments; some indicate a serious problem while others present an optimistic view. This chapter attempts to explain why the assessments differ. We find that the optimistic views of retirement preparedness depend crucially on behavioral assumptions that may not reflect real world activity or on consumption levels that are unsustainable in the long run. Thus, our best assessment is that retirees are falling short and will fall increasingly short over time.

Keywords: retirement, retirement income, retirement security, saving, consumption, replacement rate, Social Security, 401(k), reverse mortgage

Suggested Citation

Munnell, Alicia and Rutledge, Matthew S. and Webb, Anthony, Are Retirees Falling Short? Reconciling the Conflicting Evidence (September 1, 2014). Pension Research Council WP 2014-05. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2522967 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2522967

Alicia Munnell (Contact Author)

Boston College - Center for Retirement Research ( email )

Fulton Hall 550
Chestnut Hill, MA 02467
United States
617-552-1762 (Phone)

Matthew S. Rutledge

Boston College, Center for Retirement Research ( email )

Boston, MA
United States

HOME PAGE: http://crr.bc.edu/researchers/matthew_s_rutledge.html

Anthony Webb

Boston College - Center for Retirement Research ( email )

Fulton Hall 550
Chestnut Hill, MA 02467
United States

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