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Were They Prepared for Retirement?

Were They Prepared for Retirement?

Financial Status at Advanced Ages in the HRS and AHEAD Cohorts

Chapter:
(p.20) (p.21) 1 Were They Prepared for Retirement?
Source:
Investigations in the Economics of Aging
Author(s):
James M. PoterbaSteven F. VentiDavid A. Wise
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226903163.003.0002

This chapter examines people's finances in the years leading up to their death, focusing on the variations in financial circumstances and well-being across the population. The analysis makes use of all of the cohorts that are now part of the Health and Retirement Study, and gives special attention to the older Asset and Health Dynamics Among the Oldest Old cohort. Among the findings are that median total wealth was relatively high in the year last observed for each of the three family pathway groups; wealth in the last year before death was greatest for persons who were in two-person households the longest period of time; and despite the appearance of substantial assets at the median, a substantial fraction of people die with an income of less than $10,000, with no financial assets, and with zero housing wealth. A commentary is included at the end of the chapter.

Keywords:   personal finances, wealth, financial circumstances, Health and Retirement, Oldest Old

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