Testing Methods to Enhance Longevity Awareness
49 Pages Posted: 10 Mar 2021 Last revised: 20 Mar 2021
Date Written: November 2, 2020
Many people have only a vague notion of the concept of life expectancy and the longevity risk they face at older ages, which in turn implies that they are likely to undersave for retirement. This paper employs an online experiment to investigate alternative ways to describe both life expectancy and longevity risk, with the goal of assessing whether these can raise peoples’ awareness of possible retirement shortfalls. We also evaluate whether providing this information promotes interest in saving activity and demand for longevity insurance products. We find that providing longevity risk information impacts respondents’ subjective survival probabilities, while simply describing average life expectancy does not. Yet providing life expectancy or longevity information significantly affects financial decisions, mostly regarding annuitization. Interestingly, we also find that merely prompting people to think about financial decisions changes their perceptions regarding subjective survival probabilities.
Keywords: retirement, annuity, longevity, life expectancy, behavioral economics
JEL Classification: G5, G4, J26
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation