Older Americans' Reliance on Assets

Older Americans' Reliance on Assets

March 18, 2008

People think of retirement security as balancing on a three-legged stool, with income from assets, private pensions, and Social Security as the legs. However, despite growing awareness about the importance of saving for retirement, many elderly people cannot rely on their financial assets. According to data from the 2004 Health and Retirement Study, lower-income adults age 65 and older rely less on income from assets and traditional defined-benefit pensions than their higher-income counterparts. Instead, older adults with lower income rely primarily on Social Security and public transfers for their retirement security.

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