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The Effect of the Intent to Retire at Age 70 or Older on Worklife Expectancy

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Jeffrey S. Petersen and Phillip H. Allman. 2017. The Effect of the Intent to Retire at Age 70 or Older on Worklife Expectancy. Journal of Legal Economics 23(2): pp. 31–43.

The Effect of the Intent to Retire at Age 70 or Older on Worklife Expectancy

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Forensic economists may receive a request from an attorney asking to project lost wages for his or her client to age 70 or older. This request is likely to occur when the plaintiff that attorney is representing is adamant with respect to how long he or she intended to work absent the incident of the legal case. Worklife expectancy tables will not provide a basis to make a computation of wage loss to age 70 or older unless the plaintiff had reached their late sixties as of the date of incident. However, worklife expectancy tables do not take into account ‘‘intent’’ since the tables are based on actual retirement patterns without knowledge of individuals’ retirement plans. Individuals who had the intent to retire at age 70 or older may significantly differ from individuals who planned to retire at earlier ages in the number of years they work. In 1992, participants in the Health and Retirement Study (HRS) were asked when they planned to retire. The HRS followed up with these same individuals every two years from 1994 to 2014 and asked about their work status. HRS participants who stated they planned to work to age 70 or older were indeed statistically different than individuals who planned to retire earlier. The intent to work to age 70 or older accounted for 2.5 increased work years, on average, compared to those who did not plan to work to age 70 or older.

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Authors Jeffrey S. Petersen, Phillip H. Allman
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