NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Financial Literacy and Retirement Planning in the United States

Annamaria Lusardi, Olivia S. Mitchell

NBER Working Paper No. 17108
Issued in June 2011
NBER Program(s):   AG

We examine financial literacy in the United States using the new National Financial Capability Study, wherein we demonstrate that financial literacy is particularly low among the young, women, and the less-educated. Moreover, Hispanics and African-Americans score the least well on financial literacy concepts. Interestingly, all groups rate themselves as rather well-informed about financial matters, notwithstanding their actual performance on the key literacy questions. Finally, we show that people who score higher on the financial literacy questions are also much more likely to plan for retirement, which is likely to leave them better positioned for old-age. Our results will inform those seeking to target financial literacy programs to those in most need.

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Published: Lusardi, Annamaria & Mitchell, Olivia S., 2011. "Financial literacy and retirement planning in the United States," Journal of Pension Economics and Finance, Cambridge University Press, vol. 10(04), pages 509-525, October.

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