Do Immigrants Delay Retirement and Social Security Claiming?

TitleDo Immigrants Delay Retirement and Social Security Claiming?
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2019
AuthorsLopez, MJ, Slavov, SNataraj
JournalNational Bureau of Economic Research Working Paper Series
VolumeNo. 25518
Date Published2019
KeywordsImmigrants, Immigration, Social Security

As the share of older immigrants residing in the U.S. begins to rise, it is important to understand how immigrants’ retirement behavior and security compare to that of natives. This question has implications for the impact of immigration on government finances and for the retirement security of immigrants. We use data from the Health and Retirement Study (HRS) to examine how immigrants’ retirement and Social Security claiming patterns compare to those of natives. We find that immigrants are significantly less likely than natives to retire or claim Social Security in their early 60s. We do not find heterogeneous effects by ethnicity or age of arrival to the U.S. We also find no evidence that immigrants exit the survey at higher rates than U.S. natives in their late 50s through 60s, a finding that is consistent with immigrants retiring in the U.S. rather than abroad.


Author contact info:Mary LopezOccidental CollegeE-Mail: mlopez@oxy.eduSita SlavovSchar School of Policy and GovernmentGeorge Mason University3351 Fairfax Drive, MS 3B1Arlington, VA 22201Tel: 703/993-3171E-Mail:

Citation Key10203
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