02/11/2007

Structural Changes in Saving and Income of Elderly Households

Tatsuya Ishikawa 

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Despite the decrease in average pension benefits since the late 1990s, more elderly households are choosing not to work, in part because fewer of them now receive below-subsistence benefit amounts. As a result, the earned income of working elderly households has dropped. Meanwhile, consumption has remained steady, thus conspicuously reducing their saving rate to below that of under-60 households. Moreover, nonworking elderly households are dissaving at an accelerating rate. Their dissaving still relies heavily on bank deposit accounts, because unlike in the U.S., Japan’s elderly households cannot easily sell off real assets or obtain home equity loans.

Tatsuya Ishikawa

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