01/06/2001

Life Course Research of Middle and Old-Aged Persons (Part2) - Panel Study Results on Household Finances (1999)

Koichi Itotani  

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Introduction

NLI Research Institute is currently conducting a 10-year panel study of middle and old-aged persons.The study consists of five surveys in total, conducted at two-year intervals. The first survey was conductedin 1997, and the second one in 1999.

Unlike the sample study method, which is takes a snapshot of a cross section at a given point in time,the panel study method follows the same participants over a period of time to examine the life eventsthat occur, and how they impact the attitudes and behavior of individuals (and families).

Part 1 of the panel study results, released last month, analyzed changes in daily life from 1997 to 1999.This paper (Part 2) reports on changes in the financial situation of households. Part 3 will addresschanges in employment.

The participants in the panel study were born between 1933 and 1947, which means that they rangedin age from 52 to 66 in 1999. Salaried workers have begun retiring, while some self-employed personsare winding down their careers. Long-term care is also starting to become a real concern for the participantsand their parents, and some are already engaged in it. Thus two major life events now confrontingthis generation - job separation (including retirement) and long-term care - are starting toalter lifestyles and have a serious impact on household finances.

To present a picture of the financial condition of families of this generation, below we outline changesin household finances from 1997 to 1999, and analyze how job separation and long-term care areaffecting household finances.

Koichi Itotani 

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