Remaking Retirement: Debt in an Aging Economy

Edited By Olivia S. Mitchell and Annamaria Lusardi

Around the world, people nearing and entering retirement are holding ever-greater levels of debt than in the past. This is not a benign situation, as many pre-retirees and retirees are stressed about their indebtedness. Moreover, this growth in debt among the older population may render retirees vulnerable to financial shocks, medical care bills, and changes in interest rates. Contributors to this volume explore key aspects of the rise in debt across older cohorts, drill down into the types of debt and reasons for debt incurred by the older population, and review policies to remedy some of the financial problems facing older persons, in the US and elsewhere. The authors explore which groups are most affected by debt and identify the factors producing this important increase in leverage at older ages.

It is clear that the economic and market environment is influential when it comes to saving and debt. Access to easy borrowing, low interest rates, and the rising cost of education have had significant impacts on how much people borrow, and how much debt they carry at older ages. In this environment, the capacity to manage debt is ever more important as older workers lack the opportunity to recover from mistakes.

Publication date: October 24, 2020 · Oxford University Press · ISBN: 9780198867524

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  • Table of Contents
  • Introduction: Debt in an Aging Economy
    Olivia S. Mitchell and Annamaria Lusardi
  • Chapter 2: Debt Close to Retirement and Its Implications for Retirement Well-being
    Annamaria Lusardi, Olivia S. Mitchell, and Noemi Oggero
  • Chapter 3: The Graying of American Debt
    Meta Brown, Donghoon Lee, Joelle Scally, and Wilbert van der Klaaw
  • Chapter 4: The Risk of Financial Hardship in Retirement: A Cohort Analysis
    Jason Brown, Karen Dynan, and Theodore Figinski
  • Chapter 5: Financial Distress among the Elderly: Bankruptcy Reform and the Financial Crisis
    Wenli Li and Michelle White
  • Chapter 6: Older Americans and the Mortgage Market Crisis: An Update
    Lori Trawinski
  • Chapter 7: Paying it Back: Real-world Debt Service Trends and Implications for Retirement Planning
    Anne Lester, Katherine Santiago, Je Oh, Livia Wu, and Ekaterina Chegaeva
  • Chapter 8: Is Rising Household Debt Affecting Retirement Decisions?
    Barbara A. Butrica and Nadia S. Karamcheva
  • Chapter 9: How Much Should the Poor Save for Retirement? Data and Simulations on Retirement Income Adequacy among Low-Earning Households
    Andrew G. Biggs
  • Chapter 10: Financial Well-being of State and Local Government Retirees in North Carolina
    Robert L. Clark and Siyan Liu
  • Chapter 11: Household Debt and Aging in Japan
    Charles Yuji Horioka and Yoko Niimi
  • Chapter 12: Understanding the Macro-Financial Effects of Household Debt: A Global Perspective
    Adrian Alter, Alan Xiaochen Feng, and Nico Valckx
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