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AN NBER PUBLICATION ISSUE: No. 2, June 2007

The Bulletin on Aging & Health

Along with factors such as genetics and medical care, health behaviors can directly affect health outcomes. Healthy be-haviors such as exercising and eating sensibly lower the risk of conditions like heart disease and diabetes, while unhealthy behaviors such as smoking and excessive drinking raise the risk of conditions like lung cancer and liver disease. Mortality rates in the U.S. have fallen in recent years - for example, the mortality rate for adults aged 45 to 54...

Research Summaries

Article
It is often said that a comfortable retirement rests on the "three-legged stool" of Social Security, employer-provided pensions, and personal savings. Significant changes to any of these three components may either enhance or threaten the fi-nancial security of retired workers. Over the past two decades, there has been a striking shift in employer-provided pensions from defined benefit (DB) to defined contribution (DC) plans. In a DB plan, a worker's benefit is determined...
Article
Expenditures on health care for the elderly are high and rising rapidly. In 2006, Medicare benefit payments totaled $374 Billion, accounting for 12 percent of federal government spending and 20 percent of the nation's total health care spending. Including supplemental insurance policies and out-of-pocket spending, the elderly consume more than one-third of all health care in the U.S., despite being only 13 percent of the population. Looking ahead, Medicare expenditures are...

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