NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
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Saving Regret

Axel H. Börsch-Supan, Tabea Bucher-Koenen, Michael D. Hurd, Susann Rohwedder

NBER Working Paper No. 25238
Issued in November 2018
NBER Program(s):Aging, Labor Studies

We define saving regret as the wish in hindsight to have saved more earlier in life. We measured saving regret and possible determinants in a survey of a probability sample of those aged 60-79. We investigate two main causes of saving regret: procrastination along with other psychological traits, and the role of shocks, both positive and negative. We find high levels of saving regret but relatively little of the variation is explained by procrastination and psychological factors. Shocks such as unemployment, health and divorce explain much more of the variation. The results have important implications for retirement saving policies.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w25238

 
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