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Retirement and Older Americans

Retired CoupleOur extensive work on retirement policy covers the many ways the aging of America will trigger changes in how we work, retire, and spend federal resources.

The number of Americans age 65 and over will rise from about 13 percent in 2008 to 20 percent by 2040. The recession dealt a heavy blow to retirement accounts, leaving many older adults worried about their retirement security. Read more.

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The Impact of Informal Caregiving on Older Adults' Labor Supply and Economic Resources (Research Report)
Barbara Butrica, Nadia Karamcheva

This study analyzes the effect of informal caregiving on older adults’ labor supply and economic resources. Although we find no evidence that caregiving affects the wages or hours of workers, we do find that it reduces the likelihood of working. Men who provide personal care to parents or intensive care to spouses are less likely to work, as are women who provide intensive care to parents. As a result, over time, caregivers have a significantly higher probability of falling into poverty and also experience a smaller percentage growth in assets—particularly those who care for their spouses.

Posted to Web: March 10, 2015Publication Date: October 18, 2014

401(k) Participant Behavior in a Volatile Economy (Article)
Barbara Butrica, Karen E. Smith

The booms and busts of the late 1990s and 2000s have taken 401(k) plan participants on a rollercoaster ride. Using administrative tax records and household surveys, we examine how participants responded to these periods of economic expansions and contractions by documenting changes in 401(k) participation, contributions, and contribution rates from 1990 to 2009. Controlling for earnings, job changes, and other household factors, we find that workers reduce their 401(k) participation and contributions during recessions. Changes in participant behavior during the Great Recession, in particular, could lower 401(k) assets of the typical 30-year-old by as much as 8% at age 62.

Posted to Web: March 09, 2015Publication Date: August 01, 2014

Evaluation of the Multi-Payer Advanced Primary Care Practice (MAPCP) Demonstration (Research Report)
Stephen Zuckerman, Kelly J. Devers, Robert A. Berenson, Rachel A. Burton, Nicole Cafarella Lallemand, Rebecca Peters

For the past three years, Medicare, Medicaid, and private payers in eight states have been paying certified medical home practices monthly care management fees and providing additional support (e.g., data feedback, learning collaboratives, practice coaching) through the Multi-payer Advanced Primary Care Demonstration. In its first year, the demonstration included 3,800 health care providers, 700 practices, and 400,000 Medicare beneficiaries, and produced net savings for the Medicare program that totaled $4.2 million. Interviewees reported that demonstration payments provided needed support to help practices transform the way they deliver care – by adding nurse care managers, adopting electronic disease registries, and enhancing access to care after hours, as well as making other changes.

Posted to Web: January 23, 2015Publication Date: January 23, 2015

Children and Youth in an Aging America: Mapping America's Futures, Brief 3 (Research Report)
Nan Astone, Allison Stolte, Steven Martin, Kaitlin Franks, H. Elizabeth Peters, Rolf Pendall, Austin Nichols

Across the United States, both the elder population-those older than 64-and the younger population-those younger than 20-will grow over the next 15 years. The growth of the elder population is ubiquitous, and the growth of the younger population is more geographically variable. We consider the implications of this growth for generational balance across the United States, using an average scenario of America's future. Areas with growing populations will need to invest resources in a young population growing apace and an elder population growing faster than the overall population.

Posted to Web: January 20, 2015Publication Date: January 20, 2015

Methodology and Assumptions for the Mapping America's Futures Project: Mapping America's Futures, Brief 5 (Research Report)
Austin Nichols, Steven Martin, Kaitlin Franks

The Mapping America's Futures project has developed multiple series of population projections for 740 commuting zones in the United States by age, race, and ethnicity. This brief explains the assumptions and methodology of our population projections.

Posted to Web: January 20, 2015Publication Date: January 20, 2015

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