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The Adequacy of Savings



This paper uses newly available data from the Social Security Administration's Retirement History Survey to examine the adequacy of saving. This data source is particularly rich; survey data for respondents covering the ydars 1969, 197 1( and 1953 have been matched with Social Security earnings records covering the years dating back to 1951. In addition to information on the path of lifetime earnhngs, the survey contains extensive data on individual asset holdings. The evidence indicates that surprisingly few couples currantly suffer significant reductions in their standard of living in their old age. This appears due, in large part, to our compulsory savings institutions, the Social Security and private pension systems. These institutions have succeeded in redistributing the lifetime consumption of private individuals from their youth to their old age.

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