Financial Sophistication in the Older Population

TitleFinancial Sophistication in the Older Population
Publication TypeReport
Year of Publication2012
AuthorsLusardi, A, Mitchell, OS, Vilsa Curto
Series TitleNBER Working Paper
Document Number17863
InstitutionNational Bureau of Economic Research
CityCambridge, MA
KeywordsConsumption and Savings, Employment and Labor Force, Event History/Life Cycle, Net Worth and Assets, Other, Public Policy, Women and Minorities

This paper examines data on financial sophistication among the U.S. older population, using a special-purpose module implemented in the Health and Retirement Study. We show that financial sophistication is deficient for older respondents (aged 55 ). Specifically, many in this group lack a basic grasp of asset pricing, risk diversification, portfolio choice, and investment fees. Subpopulations with particular deficits include women, the least educated, persons over the age of 75, and non-Whites. In view of the fact that people are increasingly being asked to take on responsibility for their own retirement security, such lack of knowledge can have serious implications.

Endnote Keywords

Numeracy/Financial sophistication/Financial sophistication/Intertemporal Consumer Choice/Life Cycle Models and Saving/Portfolio Choice/Investment Decisions/Investment Decisions/Economics of the Elderly/Economics of the Handicapped/Non-labor Market Discrimination/Public Policy

Endnote ID


Citation Key5926