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Are Americans Saving "Optimally" for Retirement?

Authors:
Publication Date:
Jan 2003
Project Programs:
Social Inequality

We incorporate detailed HRS data on family structure and age of retirement (treating both as exogenous and known from the beginning of working life) in calculating optimal life-cycle consumption profiles. Households form expectations about social security based on a detailed representation of social security rules. Expectations about defined benefit pension benefits are based on empirical predictions of pension entitlements (for those eligible to receive benefits) that are a function of final-year earnings. Earnings expectations come from age-earnings profiles estimated using restricted access social security earnings records, incorporating an individual-specific term. Finally, our analysis examines all households in the HRS.

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