HwaJung Choi

Choi and Schoeni find mismatch between health of older Americans and increasing Social Security retirement age

an In The Media Reference

"Spend it while you can! Americans are retiring later at closer to 67 and dying sooner, new study finds" - Daily Mail. 10/23/2017.

Although 1983 changes to the Social Security policy increased the normal retirement age from 65 to 67 for those born after 1960, HwaJung Choi and Robert Schoeni's recent study suggests that older Americans are not as healthy today as they used to be. Using HRS and NHIS data, they looked at the health of pre-retirees (49-60 years old) across five birth cohorts and five dimensions: cognitive functioning, physical functioning, ADLs/IADLs, and self-rated health. Their findings indicate that the health of those in their 50s and 60s may be worse today than it was two decades ago. Because most people work until they're fully eligible for Social Security, today's pre-retirees will likely claim benefits at a later age than previous cohorts, despite the likelihood of being in worse health. Schoeni says: "We found that younger cohorts are facing more burdensome health issues, even as they have to wait until an older age to retire, so they will have to do so in poorer health."

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