Tags: Die | retirement | money | little

Study: Nearly Half of Americans Die With Little Money

By    |   Thursday, 30 Aug 2012 11:37 AM

Almost half of all Americans die with little money, according to a new report from the National Bureau of Economic Research.

“We find that a substantial fraction of individuals die with virtually no financial assets — 46.1 percent with $10,000 or less … ,” the report says.

That rate jumps to 57 percent for people who were single throughout the course of the survey, which tracked retirees from 1993 to 2008.

Editor's Note: How You Lost $85,000 During the Last Decade. See the Numbers.

The report also reveals that many of these households have no housing wealth and rely almost entirely on Social Security.

“But perhaps the study's most striking finding was a ‘strong and consistent’ relationship between wealth and survival,” MarketWatch reports. “If you're rich, you're much likely to live longer.”

While the findings do not mean that those who die with little money have a poor standard of living during their retirement years, it does turn the spotlight on a statistic the government endorses for retirement preparation.

“One measure of adequacy of retirement income is the replacement rate — the percentage of pre-retirement salary that is available to a worker in retirement,” the Social Security Administration says.

“Many of these households may be deemed to have been well-prepared for retirement, in the sense that their income in the final years was not substantially lower than their income in the late 50s or early 60s,” the report says.

“This raises a question about whether the replacement ratio is a sufficient statistic for the ‘adequacy’ of retirement preparation” the report says.

Editor's Note: How You Lost $85,000 During the Last Decade. See the Numbers.

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