Working Paper

Wealth Distribution and Retirement Preparation Among Early Savers


Abstract: This paper develops a new combined wealth measure using data from the Survey of Consumer Finances, by augmenting data on net worth with estimates of defined benefit (DB) pension wealth and expected Social Security wealth. We use this combined wealth concept to explore retirement preparation among groups of households in their pre-retirement years (40-49 and 50-59) and also to explore the concentration of wealth. We find evidence of moderate, but rising, shortfalls in retirement preparation. We also show that including DB pension and Social Security wealth results in markedly lower measures of wealth concentration. Trends toward higher concentration over time are also somewhat moderated.

Keywords: Inequality; Pensions; Retirement; Wealth; Social security;

JEL Classification: D30; H50; J10;

https://doi.org/10.17016/FEDS.2020.043

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Bibliographic Information

Provider: Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.)

Part of Series: Finance and Economics Discussion Series

Publication Date: 2020-06-12

Number: 2020-043

Pages: 53