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View Research by Author - Dan Murphy


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How Many Struggle to Get by In Retirement? (Series/The Retirement Project Discussion Papers)
Barbara Butrica, Dan Murphy, Sheila R. Zedlewski

This paper uses data from the 2004 Health and Retirement Study to demonstrate how the poverty rate of adults 65 and older changes using alternative resource and threshold measures. Results show that alternative poverty measures that account for health spending produce higher poverty rates than the official measure, even those that include the value of housing and financial assets. Poverty remains concentrated among singles (disproportionately women), blacks and Hispanics, and adults 85 and older regardless of how it is measured because these populations have relatively little housing equity or financial assets.

Posted to Web: March 07, 2008Publication Date: January 15, 2008

The Impact of Late-Career Health and Employment Shocks on Social Security and Other Wealth (Series/The Retirement Project Discussion Papers)
Richard W. Johnson, Gordon Mermin, Dan Murphy

About one-quarter of workers age 51 to 55 in 1992 developed health-related work limitations and about one-fifth were laid off from their jobs before age 62. Although late-career health and employment shocks often derail retirement savings plans, Social Security’s disability insurance, spouse and survivor benefits, and progressive benefit formula provide important protections. In fact, health shocks increase Social Security's lifetime value, primarily because the system’s disability insurance allows some disabled workers to collect benefits before age 62. However, if the system’s disability insurance program did not exist, the onset of health-related work limitations would substantially reduce Social Security wealth.

Posted to Web: December 20, 2007Publication Date: December 20, 2007

Racial Differences in Baby Boomers' Retirement Expectations (Series/Older Americans' Economic Security)
Dan Murphy, Richard W. Johnson, Gordon Mermin

Although recent evidence suggests baby boomers intend to work longer than previous generations, some demographic groups appear less likely to delay retirement. African-Americans expect to work less at older ages than other racial groups, even after considering differences in education, health, wealth, and other factors. African-American boomers risk jeopardizing their retirement security if they leave the labor force at relatively young ages.

Posted to Web: January 30, 2007Publication Date: January 26, 2007

How Long Do Boomers Plan To Work? (Series/Older Americans' Economic Security)
Gordon Mermin, Richard W. Johnson, Dan Murphy

The solvency of the U.S. retirement system partially hinges on how long baby boomers stay in the workforce. If they retire as early as the previous generation, the number of workers per retiree will soon plummet, reducing the tax base and squeezing budgets for Social Security and all other government programs. But new research shows that as the boomers approach retirement they intend to work longer than people born a dozen years earlier, promoting economic growth and partly offsetting the economic pressures created by an aging population.

Posted to Web: January 30, 2007Publication Date: January 29, 2007

Minimum Benefits in Social Security Could Reduce Aged Poverty (Series/Older Americans' Economic Security)
Melissa M. Favreault, Gordon Mermin, C. Eugene Steuerle, Dan Murphy

Despite Social Security's success at bolstering retirement security, many older Americans remain mired in poverty. Because Social Security does not guarantee a minimum benefit, many long-service, low-wage workers receive benefits that leave them below the poverty line. African Americans, Hispanics, and unmarried women are especially vulnerable. Although productivity gains are likely to reduce old-age poverty over time, Social Security's long-term financing problem makes future benefit cuts likely. This analysis explores two potential minimum-benefit designs and shows that an effective minimum benefit could help protect the highest-risk groups.

Posted to Web: January 30, 2007Publication Date: January 26, 2007

Why Do Boomers Plan To Work So Long? (Series/The Retirement Project Discussion Papers)
Gordon Mermin, Richard W. Johnson, Dan Murphy

In 2004, workers ages 51 to 56 reported a 33 percent chance of working past age 65--up from 27 percent for workers that age in 1992. Expected full-time work after age 62 increased as well. Lower rates of retiree health insurance offers from employers, higher levels of educational attainment, and lower rates of defined benefit pension coverage accounted for most of the increase. The recent uptick in average retirement ages appears to be the leading edge of a long-term trend. Lengthier careers may promote economic growth, increase government revenue, and improve individual financial security at older ages.

Posted to Web: December 05, 2006Publication Date: December 01, 2006


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