Annuities and Retirement Satisfaction

TitleAnnuities and Retirement Satisfaction
Publication TypeReport
Year of Publication2003
AuthorsPanis, C
Series TitleRAND Unrestricted Draft
Document NumberDRU-3021
InstitutionRAND Corporation
CitySanta Monica, CA
KeywordsExpectations, Net Worth and Assets, Retirement Planning and Satisfaction, Social Security

This paper analyzes pre-retirement expectations and post-retirement satisfaction, in particular their association with the degree to which retirees financial resources are in the form of annuities. Using the 1992-2000 Health and Retirement Study (HRS), we find that most retirees are very satisfied with their overall situation, but the degree of satisfaction varies substantially with retirees characteristics. In particular, people in better health and with more financial resources tend to be more satisfied. Holding constant the present value of retirement resources and other factors, we find that retirees who can finance more of their consumption in retirement from pension annuities (vs. Social Security benefits and accumulated savings) are more satisfied. Retirees with lifelong annuities also tend to maintain their level of satisfaction during retirement, whereas those without tend to become less satisfied over time. We find the very same patterns with alternative depression-related measures of well-being in retirement. The findings have important implications for the well-being of future American retirees, who are increasingly reliant on DC pension plans rather than traditional DB.

Endnote Keywords

Retirement Expectations/Retirement Wealth/Satisfaction

Endnote ID


Citation Key5542