Monday, Nov 3
Melvin Stephens, Estimating Program Benefits
Reliable forecasts of future retirement patterns are of obvious importance in formulating public policy. The predictive value of workers' expectations regarding retirement depends, however, on whether expectations are reliable indicators of future retirement, conditional on the information available at the time that expectations are formed. Using workers' responses in the U.S. Health and Retirement Survey about the chances of working after age 62, this paper provides some tentative answers to two important questions regarding retirement expectations: Does there appear to be a high random component to expectations regarding future retirement and, if not, does the same behavioral model that generates retirement realizations seem to generate retirement expectations as well? Findings on changes in reported expectations between Waves 1 and 2 of the HRS suggest that expectations may well provide useful information about future retirement.