Retirement and Wealth

68 Pages Posted: 8 Apr 2001 Last revised: 21 Oct 2010

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

Multiple version iconThere are 3 versions of this paper

Date Written: April 2001

Abstract

This paper estimates reduced form retirement and wealth equations, and analyzes the relationship between them. Data are from the first four waves of the longitudinal Health and Retirement Study, individuals born from 1931 to 1941. Single equation retirement models relate the probability of retiring to forward looking measures of changes in the values of social security and pension benefits when retirement is postponed. Such simple models suggest that if the social security early retirement age were to be raised or abolished, more people would retire earlier rather than later. Our work analyzes the reasons for such counter intuitive predictions, and discusses the need to analyze these policies in the context of a structural model of retirement and wealth. To improve retirement analysis, we develop the premium value, a measure of the future value of pensions and social security that better reflects the accrual of benefits under defined contribution plans. We also introduce a new definition of retirement to blend information on objective hours worked with subjective self reports of retirement status. Our findings also explore the effects of social security incentives on partial retirement, and consider the importance of partial retirement in any study relating social security to retirement behavior.

Suggested Citation

Gustman, Alan L. and Steinmeier, Thomas L., Retirement and Wealth (April 2001). NBER Working Paper No. w8229, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=266199

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)

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