Are we saving enough?
Americans are saving less than they used to. At the same time, they are spending more years in retirement, and Social Security still has long-term financial shortfalls. The author finds that most American households must raise their saving rates considerably if they are to maintain their current living standards through retirement.
The adequacy of life insurance: evidence from the health and retirement survey
This study examines life insurance adequacy among married American couples approaching retirement based on the 1992 Health and Retirement Survey with matched Social Security earnings histories. It evaluates each household's life insurance needs based on new financial planning software that embodies a life-cycle-planning model and covers a broad array of demographic, economic, and financial characteristics. A sizable minority of households are significantly underinsured. Almost one third of wives and over 10 percent of husbands would have suffered living-standard reductions greater than 20 ...
Medicare: usual and customary remedies will no longer work
A description of the structural deficiencies that have led to Medicare's impending bankruptcy, and a discussion of the merits of alternative approaches to extending the program's long-term viability. The author argues that the best approach is to adopt a "defined contribution" plan that will restore consumers' interest in economizing on health care services and boost competition among providers and insurers.
The Budget Reconciliation Act of 1993: a summary report
A summary of the administration's final budget bill that was enacted in summer 1993, highlighting the changes in the scope and timing of deficit reductions and in the amount and distribution of revenue increases.
The 1995 budget and health care reform: a generational perspective
A presentation of the baseline generational accounts for 1992, estimating both the effect of the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1993 and the further impact of the Clinton administration's health reform proposal.
Social security and Medicare policy from the perspective of generational accounting
An application of the generational accounting method of fiscal policy analysis to projected spending paths for Social Security and Medicare suggesting that, under realistic assumptions for these programs, future generations as well as current young Americans could bear a significantly larger share of the burden of government spending than previously thought.
The mismatch between life insurance holdings and financial vulnerabilities: evidence from the Health and Retirement Survey
Using data on older workers from the 1992 Health and Retirement Survey, along with an elaborate life-cycle planning model, the authors quantify the effect of each individual's death on the financial status of his or her survivors and the degree to which life insurance holdings moderate these consequences. The average change in living standard that would result from a spouse's death is small, both in absolute terms and relative to the decline that would occur without insurance. However, this average obscures a startling mismatch between insurance holdings and underlying vulnerabilities. For ...
Life-cycle saving, limits on contributions to DC pension plans, and lifetime tax benefits
This paper analyzes questions related to defined contribution (DC) plans. For what types of households are statutory contribution limits likely to bind? How large is the lifetime tax benefit from participating in a DC plan and how does it vary with lifetime income? The authors find that contribution limits bind for households that begin their plan participation late in life or wish to retire early, single-earner households, those who are not borrowing-constrained, those with rapid rates of real wage growth, and those with high levels of earnings regardless of age. Setting contribution rates ...
Generational accounts and lifetime tax rates, 1900-1991
An update of the baseline generational accounts reported in the 1993 federal budget that extends the analysis to lifetime net tax rates--the taxes that a generation pays, less the Social Security and other transfer benefits that it receives, as a share of income over its entire lifetime.
The annuitization of Americans' resources: a cohort analysis
An analysis of the changes since 1960 in the share of Americans' resources that are annuitized, which has declined slightly for younger Americans but has risen dramatically for the elderly, with important implications for the national saving rate and income inequality.