June 2020

Wealth Distribution and Retirement Preparation Among Early Savers

Lindsay Jacobs, Elizabeth Llanes, Kevin Moore, Jeffrey Thompson, Alice Henriques Volz

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.

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

PDF: Full Paper

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Last Update: June 12, 2020