Effect of gender and generation on objective and subjective retirement income adequacy at three points in time
[ACCESS RESTRICTED TO THE UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI AT REQUEST OF AUTHOR.] The purpose of this dissertation is to examine the effect of gender and generation on subjective and objective measures of retirement income adequacy (RIA). The two generations studied -- Baby Boomers and Generation X -- each have experienced somewhat different retirement planning environments during their working years. I assessed gender and generational differences in both measures of RIA at three points in time and identify the factors that play a role in these differences. Questions this dissertation seeks to answer include whether being female is a significant factor in either objective or subjective RIA assessment, whether being female affects objective and subjective RIA in different years, whether being in Generation X is a significant factor in objective and subjective RIA assessment, and whether being in Generation X affects objective and subjective RIA in different years. The research design includes analysis of respondents born 1946 to 1964, Baby Boomers, and 1965 to 1981, Generation X, in the 1989, 2001, and 2016 Survey of Consumer Finances. Logistic regression assesses the likelihood of meeting the objective RIA target. Respondents meet the target if they have a retirement income replacement ratio of at least 73%. Ordinal logistic regression assesses the gender and generational differences in subjective RIA. Subjective RIA is rated by respondents as either (1) totally inadequate, (2) "unsatisfactory," (3) enough to maintain living standard, (4) "satisfactory," or (5) very satisfactory. While results did not indicate gender as a significant factor in objective and subjective retirement income adequacy as expected, generation does play a role in these measures. Findings also indicate that race and income level play a significant role in objective and subjective RIA. Individuals identifying as black/African American and households in the highest income tercile tend to be over-confident about their expected retirement income, while those in the lowest tercile tend be under-confident. Individuals with self-assessed health status of anything less than excellent are less likely to meet the objective RIA target. When planning for income needs in retirement, it is important for individuals and families to consider increased healthcare cost that comes with advanced age.
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