The Diversity Of Risk Among Age-62 Retired Worker Beneficiaries

Eric R. Kingson Yvonne Arsenault

WP#2000-8

Abstract

This article focuses on age-62 retired-worker beneficiaries, a group whose well-being may be affected by changes in Social Security retirement ages. The analysis: 1) develops different measures of risk of a poor retirement; 2) applies these measures to developing a range of estimates of the risk for age-62 beneficiaries at the threshold of retirement; and 3) assesses how the circumstances of and risks experienced by these beneficiaries vary by such factors as race, gender, health status and marital status. The findings point to great diversity of circumstances among these early retirees and suggest that narrow conceptions of risk may fall short of fully identifying the distributive consequences of retirement age changes, especially for African Americans, Hispanics, low-income, unmarried individuals and unhealthy early retirees.