What Determines End-of-Life Assets? A Retrospective View
We consider assets when individuals were last observed prior to death in the Health and Retirement Study (HRS) and then trace assets backwards to the age when they were first observed. We find that for most individuals, assets in the last year observed (LYO) were very similar to assets in the first year observed (FYO), and in particular that most of those who were last observed with very low asset levels also had low assets when first observed. We then estimate the relationship between education, changes in individual attributes such as health and family composition, and changes in assets between the first and last observations for individuals. We obtain estimates for HRS respondents who were 51 to 61 in 1992 and for AHEAD respondents who were age 70 and over in 1993.
James M. Poterba
In addition to my role as a faculty member at MIT, I am engaged in a number of outside activities, including serving as President of the NBER, a trustee of the College Retirement Equity Fund (CREF) and independent director of the TIAA-CREF mutual funds (www.tiaa-cref.org), and serving as a trustee of the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation (www.sloan.org). I serve on the Panel of Economic Advisers at the Congressional Budget Office (www.cbo.gov). In addition, during the last three years I have received compensation for lectures or presentations in excess of $500 from each of the following organizations: American Economic Association, Dimensional Fund Advisers, Elon University, the Investment Company Institute, Queens University, the University of Rochester, and the University of Wisconsin.