How the Great Recession Affected Boomers' Wealth Mobility and Retirement Preparedness

December 1, 2011

Funding: The Pew Charitable Trust

Summary: This study investigates the effect of the Great Recession on the intergenerational wealth mobility and retirement preparedness of both early and late boomer households (as compared with both earlier and later birth cohorts), as well as where they stood relative to a boom baseline. I compare financial and housing losses of boomers compared with earlier and later cohorts, and examine how those losses vary with economic, demographic, financial, and attitudinal characteristics. Using SCF and PSID wealth data surveys from 1989 to 2009, I compare boomers' wealth status with that of other generations at similar ages to asses real wealth mobility and wealth status. I will use both the SCF and PSID to measure changes in intergenerational wealth mobility over the past two decades, including the Great Recession, and use the PSID to measure intra-generational wealth mobility between wealth quintiles in 1989, 1999, 2007, and 2009. I will estimate replacement rates at normal retirement age for boomers and other cohorts, and estimate impacts on behavior or expectation among boomers concerning work, retirement, saving, and consumption due to their Great Recession financial or economic losses.