Comparing Retirement Wealth Trajectories on Both Sides of the Pond

27 Pages Posted: 9 Jan 2016

See all articles by Richard W. Blundell

Richard W. Blundell

UCL; IFS; IZA Institute of Labor Economics; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

Rowena Crawford

Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS)

Eric French

Department of Economics; Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS)

Gemma Tetlow

Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS)

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: September 2015

Abstract

We use comparable data from the U.S. and England to examine similarities and differences in the level and trajectories of assets among households age 70 and older. We find that in the U.S. assets on average decline gradually with age, while in England older households actually accumulate wealth. These differences appear to be driven largely, though not entirely, by housing wealth: During the period we consider, house price growth drove increases in housing wealth in England that more than offset the slow drawdown of nonhousing wealth. This suggests the illiquid nature of housing is likely to be an important factor in explaining wealth drawdown at older ages. We also consider the potential importance of bequest motives and savings to insure against the risk of medical and long-term care expenses.

Keywords: Household wealth, England, U.S., housing

Suggested Citation

Blundell, Richard W. and Crawford, Rowena and French, Eric and Tetlow, Gemma, Comparing Retirement Wealth Trajectories on Both Sides of the Pond (September 2015). Michigan Retirement Research Center Research Paper No. 2015-333, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2712341 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2712341

Richard W. Blundell (Contact Author)

UCL ( email )

Department of Economics
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London, WC1E 6BT
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HOME PAGE: http://www.ucl.ac.uk/~uctp39a/

IFS

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HOME PAGE: http://www.ifs.org.uk

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

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Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

Rowena Crawford

Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) ( email )

7 Ridgmount Street
London, WC1E 7AE
United Kingdom

Eric French

Department of Economics ( email )

Gower Street
London, WC1E 6BT
United Kingdom

Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) ( email )

7 Ridgmount Street
London, WC1E 7AE
United Kingdom

Gemma Tetlow

Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) ( email )

7 Ridgmount Street
London, WC1E 7AE
United Kingdom

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