Financial Well-Being of State and Local Government Retirees in North Carolina
Published in Mitchell, O., and A. Lusardi (Eds.) (2020). Remaking Retirement: Debt in an Aging Economy. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.
Posted: 20 Feb 2020 Last revised: 30 Nov 2020
Date Written: May 2, 2019
Low and moderate income retirees face considerable changes as they try to maintain their standard of living. Managing their assets and debts are important to the well-being of these households. We analyze how recent low and moderate income retirees utilize retirement savings and provide evidence on their financial fragility using survey data on public employees in North Carolina who retired between 2009 and 2014. Many of these public retirees cannot come up with emergency cash. A quarter of our sample maintain high-interest debt while leaving low-return funds in retirement saving plans. We show that suboptimal debt holding is associated with lower household income and lower financial literacy.
Keywords: older adults, low income retirees, moderate income retirees, retirement savings, public employees, North Carolina, financial literacy
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