2006 Symposium: Transitioning to Retirement: How Will Boomers Fare?

April 24-25, 2006

About the Conference

Presenters at this conference drew on new microeconomic panel datasets including the Health and Retirement Study to evaluate how well Baby Boomers compare with prior cohorts, in terms of their preparedness for retirement. Papers examined financial, health, and social capital of Boomers on the verge of retirement, with similar measures of wellbeing or shortfalls for previous cohorts.

This conference was a Wharton Impact Conference sponsored by the Wharton School’s Pension Research Council and Boettner Center for Pensions and Retirement Research.

Co-organized by Beth Soldo, Brigitte Madrian, and Olivia S. Mitchell.

Conference Agenda

Session I: How Do Boomers Compare?

  • Joyce Manchester, David Weaver, and Kevin Whitman, SSA: “Baby Boomers vs Their Parents: How Will Their Economic Well-Being Compare in Retirement?” (paper available here)
  • Michael Hurd and Susann Rohwedder, Rand Corporation: “Cohort Wealth Near and Following Retirement” (paper available here)
  • Chris Cunningham, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, Gary V. Engelhardt, Syracuse University; Anil Kumar, Federal
    Reserve Bank of Dallas: “Measuring Pension Wealth” (paper available here)

Session II: Boomer Retirement Prospects

  • Barbara Wolfe, Robert Haveman, Karen Holden, and Andrei Romanov, University of Wisconsin-Madison: “The Sufficiency of Retirement Savings: A Comparison of Two Cohorts of Retired Workers at the Time of Retirement and Ten Years Later” (paper available here)
  • Howard M. Iams, SSA; Barbara A. Butrica and Karen E. Smith, Urban Institute: “It’s All Relative: Understanding the Retirement Prospects of Baby Boomers” (paper available here)
  • Nicole Maestas, Rand Corporation: “Cross-Cohort Differences in Retirement Expectations and Realizations” (paper available here)

Session III: The Changing Role for Pensions

  • Annamaria Lusardi, Dartmouth College: “Explaining Household Saving Behavior: The Role of Planning Costs and Financial Education” (paper available here)
  • Julia Coronado and Dean Maki, Barclays Capital; Ben Weitzer, Watson Wyatt: “Retiring on the House? Cross-Cohort Differences in Housing Wealth” (paper available here)
  • Leora Friedberg, University of Virginia; Anthony Webb, International Longevity Center: “Pensions, Portfolio Choices, and Wealth at Retirement” (paper available here)
  • Anders Karlsson, Stockholm University; Massimo Massa, INSEAD; Andrei Simonov, Stockholm School of Economics: “Portfolio Choice and Menu Exposure” (paper available here)

Session IV: Looking Into the Future: What’s Changing for the Boomers

  • Helen Levy, University of Michigan: “Health Insurance Coverage of the Baby Boomers Approaching Retirement” (paper available here)
  • Olivia Mitchell and Beth Soldo, University of Pennsylvania: “Cross-Cohort Differences in Retirement Preparedness: A Multi-level Analysis of Aggregate and Individual Influences” (paper available here)
  • David Weir, University of Michigan: “Living Well Longer? Generational Trends in Health at Middle Age, 1992-2004” (paper available here)