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Reimagining PensionsThe Next 40 Years$
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Olivia S. Mitchell and Richard C. Shea

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780198755449

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198755449.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 29 November 2020

Are Retirees Falling Short? Reconciling the Conflicting Evidence

Are Retirees Falling Short? Reconciling the Conflicting Evidence

(p.11) Chapter 2 Are Retirees Falling Short? Reconciling the Conflicting Evidence
Reimagining Pensions

Alicia H. Munnell

Matthew S. Rutledge

Anthony Webb

Oxford University Press

The National Retirement Risk Index shows that more than half of working-age households are at risk of failing to maintain their pre-retirement standard of living in retirement. In contrast, two other studies suggest a more sanguine outlook. One group concludes that most households maintain their consumption immediately upon retirement. A second set of researchers argue that most pre-retirees have accumulated at least an optimal level of retirement wealth. This chapter seeks to reconcile the conflicting evidence on retirement preparedness. Our conclusion is that an optimistic view of US retirement preparedness depends crucially on assumptions about behavior that may not reflect real-world activity or on consumption patterns that are unsustainable in the long run. Thus, our best assessment is that many retirees will fall increasingly short.

Keywords:   falling short, Health and Retirement Study, replacement rate, retirement preparedness, level of wealth

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