Institutional Affiliation: Financial Engines
NBER Working Papers and Publications
|February 2019||Retirement Implications of a Low Wage Growth, Low Real Interest Rate Economy|
with John B. Shoven, Sita Slavov, John G. Watson: w25556
We examine the implications of persistent low real interest rates and wage growth rates on individuals nearing retirement. We begin by reviewing the concept of r star – the long-term real, safe interest rate that is neither expansionary nor contractionary – and presenting recent estimates suggesting that this value has declined. We then examine the implications of low returns and low wage growth for individuals currently aged 45 and 55. We find that low returns and low wage growth have substantial welfare effects, with compensating variations that are often in the hundreds of thousands of dollars. Low returns increase optimal Social Security claiming ages and the marginal benefit of working longer, while low wage growth decreases the marginal benefit of working longer. Low economy-wide wag...
|August 2018||The Power of Working Longer|
with Gila Bronshtein, John B. Shoven, Sita Nataraj Slavov
in Incentives and Limitations of Employment Policies on Retirement Transitions, Robert L. Clark and Joseph P. Newhouse, organizers
|January 2018||The Power of Working Longer|
with Gila Bronshtein, John B. Shoven, Sita N. Slavov: w24226
This paper compares the relative strengths of working longer vs. saving more in terms of increasing a household’s affordable, sustainable standard of living in retirement. Both stylized households and actual households from the Health and Retirement Study are examined. We assume that workers commence Social Security benefits when they retire. The basic result is that delaying retirement by 3-6 months has the same impact on the retirement standard of living as saving an additional one-percentage point of labor earnings for 30 years. The relative power of saving more is even lower if the decision to increase saving is made later in the work life. For instance, increasing retirement saving by one percentage point ten years before retirement has the same impact on the sustainable retirement st...
Published: Gila Bronshtein & Jason Scott & John B. Shoven & Sita Nataraj Slavov, 2019. "The power of working longer," Journal of Pension Economics and Finance, vol 18(04), pages 623-644.
|November 2016||Leaving Big Money on the Table: Arbitrage Opportunities in Delaying Social Security|
with Gila Bronshtein, John B. Shoven, Sita N. Slavov: w22853
Recent research has documented that delaying the commencement of Social Security benefits increases the expected present value of retirement income for most people. Despite this research, the vast majority of individuals claim Social Security at or before full retirement age. Claiming Social Security early is not necessarily a mistake, as delaying Social Security commencement requires forgoing current income in exchange for future income. The decision to claim early could therefore rationally be driven by liquidity constraints, mortality concerns, bequest motives, a high time discount rate, or a variety of other preference related factors. However, for some individuals, delaying Social Security offers a significant arbitrage opportunity because they can defer Social Security and have highe...