PostDoc19-01: Taking a Longer View of Retirement Preparation: Skills in Adolescence as a Foundation for Economic Well-being at Midlife


  • Amanda Bosky


The decline in defined benefit retirement plans coupled with longer life expectancy has made personal retirement savings a crucial component of a secure retirement. However, many middle-aged adults face economic insecurity at a time when they should be accumulating wealth to finance their retirements. The devolution of risk in the new economy has placed increasing responsibility on individuals in a complex financial world. An individual’s economic wellbeing at midlife is the result of countless decisions and opportunities across the life course. This project will investigate the skills that may help individuals navigate this complex financial landscape and promote long-run economic security. The project will use the new midlife follow-up of the High School and Beyond (1980) study to examine how individuals’ cognitive and psychosocial skills in high school predict economic wellbeing and retirement preparation at midlife (age 50 in 2014). This unique longitudinal data can increase understanding of the role of often-overlooked early-life factors in shaping economic outcomes later in life.


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