The Risk of Financial Hardship in Retirement: A Cohort Analysis

Wharton Pension Research Council Working Paper No. 2019-10

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

See all articles by Jason Brown

Jason Brown

Government of the United States of America - Social Security Administration

Karen E. Dynan

Harvard University; Peterson Institute for International Economics

Theodore F. Figinski

Government of the United States of America - Department of the Treasury

Date Written: July 1, 2019

Abstract

This paper explores the likely prevalence of hardship in old age for individuals now nearing retirement. We use two decades of longitudinal data from the Health and Retirement Study to determine what observable demographic, socioeconomic, and financial factors in late middle age predicted economic hardship in old age for the cohort that was nearing retirement age in the mid-1990s. It then uses these findings to predict economic hardship in old age for the cohort nearing retirement age in the mid-2010s. Our analysis suggests that the more recent cohort is likely to realize higher economic insecurity, particularly among men.

Keywords: aging, debt, retirement security

Suggested Citation

Brown, Jason and Dynan, Karen E. and Figinski, Ted, The Risk of Financial Hardship in Retirement: A Cohort Analysis (July 1, 2019). Wharton Pension Research Council Working Paper No. 2019-10, Published in Mitchell, O., and A. Lusardi (Eds.) (2020). Remaking Retirement: Debt in an Aging Economy. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press., Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3540470 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3540470

Jason Brown (Contact Author)

Government of the United States of America - Social Security Administration ( email )

Washington, DC 20254
United States

Karen E. Dynan

Harvard University ( email )

Littauer Center
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Peterson Institute for International Economics ( email )

1750 Massachusetts Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20036
United States

HOME PAGE: http://https://piie.com/experts/senior-research-staff/karen-dynan

Ted Figinski

Government of the United States of America - Department of the Treasury ( email )

1500 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20220
United States

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