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Faculty of Economics

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De Nardi, M., French, E., Bailey Jones, J., McGee, R.

Why Do Couples and Singles Save during Retirement? Household Heterogeneity and its Aggregate Implications


Abstract: We estimate a model of savings for retired couples and singles who face longevity and medical expense risks, and in which couples can leave bequests both when the first and last spouse dies. We show that saving motives vary by marital status, permanent income, and age. We find that most households save more for medical expenses than for bequests, but that richer households and couples, who hold most of the wealth, save more for bequests. As a result, bequest motives are a key determinant of aggregate retirement wealth.

Author links: Eric French  


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