March 2012

While most studies concentrate on the financial status of those about to retire, new research from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dartmouth College, and Harvard University looked at the assets of individuals and couples as they approached retirement, while they were retired, and as they aged. The results found that more than half of the elderly and one-third of elderly couples had less than $10,000 in savings and investments in the last years of their lives, highlighting the need for better and more accurate advance retirement planning. James Poterba, an economist at MIT, said there are a significant number of households that have a very small cushion if they encounter any kind of financial need.