NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

The Financial Problems of the Elderly: A Holistic Approach

Victor R. Fuchs

NBER Working Paper No. 8236
Issued in April 2001
NBER Program(s):   HC   AG

A holistic approach to the financial problems of the elderly focuses simultaneously on their expenditures that are self financed as well as those that are financed by transfers from the young (under age65). It also focuses simultaneously on paying for health care and paying for other goods and services. The income and health care expenditures not paid from personal income, provides a useful framework for empirical application of the holistic approach . In 1997, approximately 35 percent of the elderly's full income was devoted to health care; 65 percent to other goods and services. Approximately 56 percent of full income was provided by transfers from the young and 44 percent by the elderly themselves. The paper shows how these percentages might change under alternative assumptions about the growth of health care relative to other goods and services and the effect of these changes on the need for more saving and more work prior to retirement.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w8236

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