Life Expectancy and Old Age Savings (REVISED, January 2009)
Rich people, women and healthy people live longer. The authors document that this heterogeneity in life expectancy is large. They use an estimated structural model to assess the impact of life expectancy variation on the elderly’s savings. The authors find that the differences in life expectancy related to observable factors such as health, gender and income have large effects on savings, and that these factors contribute by similar amounts. They also show that the risk of outliving one’s expected lifespan has a large effect on the elderly’s saving behavior.