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Annuitized Wealth and Post-Retirement Saving

John Laitner, Daniel Silverman, Dmitriy Stolyarov

NBER Working Paper No. 20547
Issued in October 2014
NBER Program(s):Program on the Economics of Aging, Economic Fluctuations and Growth Program, Public Economics Program

We introduce a tractable model of post-retirement saving behavior in which households have a precautionary motive arising from uninsured health status risks. The model distinguishes between annuitized and non-annuitized wealth, emphasizes the importance of asset composition in determining optimal household behavior, and includes an extension allowing late-in-life exchange transactions among relatives. We consider three puzzles in micro data - rising cohort average wealth of retirees, lack of demand for market annuities, and the relative scarcity of bequests - and show that our model can provide intuitive explanations for each.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w20547

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