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Americans are not financially prepared for living longer lives, Stanford study finds

Homeownership and retirement savings are crucial for financial security in Americans’ old age. (Image credit: TwinsterPhoto / Getty Images)

Oct 22 2018

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In the News, Staff, Students

A new report published by the Stanford Center on Longevity looks at the financial security of Americans at different life stages, with a focus on two key areas of economic stability: homeownership and retirement. Across generations, Americans are falling short.

By Melissa De Witte

Americans are living longer than past generations, and for many that means working longer, too. While for some this might be a choice, for many it is a financial necessity, according to a new report published Oct. 22 by the Stanford Center on Longevity.

Over the past century, Americans have added nearly 30 years to their lives. But about 50 percent of Americans are not financially prepared for these extra years, said Stanford psychologist Tamara Sims, who is the lead author of the report.

The report, Seeing Our Way to Financial Security in the Age of Longevity, draws on original and existing datasets to predict financial outcomes at different life stages. Sims and her co-authors found that across generations, Americans are increasingly falling behind when it comes to attaining two prominent predictors of financial security later in life: homeownership and retirement savings.

“We, as an aging society, are moving in the wrong direction towards adequately preparing for such long lives,” Sims said. “Multiple generations of Americans are facing the very real possibility of failing to achieve a lifetime of financial stability.”