Saving and the Effectiveness of Financial Education

45 Pages Posted: 9 Jan 2004

See all articles by Annamaria Lusardi

Annamaria Lusardi

George Washington University - Department of Accountancy; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Date Written: 2003


In this paper, I examine the financial situation of older households. In addition, I examine whether employers' initiatives to reduce planning costs via retirement seminars have an effect on workers' saving. Using data from the Health and Retirement Study, I first show that many families arrive close to retirement with little or no wealth. Portfolios are also rather simple, and many families, particularly those with low education, hold little or no high-return assets. I further show that seminars foster saving. This is particularly the case for those with low education and those who save little. By offering financial education, both financial and total net worth increase sharply, particularly for families at the bottom of the wealth distribution and those with low education. Retirement seminars also increase total wealth (inclusive of pension and Social Security) for both high and low education families. Taken together, this evidence suggests that retirement seminars can foster wealth accumulation and bolster financial security in retirement.

Suggested Citation

Lusardi, Annamaria, Saving and the Effectiveness of Financial Education (2003). Pension Research Council WP2003-14. Available at SSRN: or

Annamaria Lusardi (Contact Author)

George Washington University - Department of Accountancy ( email )

George Washington University School of Business
Washington, DC 20052
United States


National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

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