A Guide to Measuring Wealth, Income, and Replacement Rates in the Health and Retirement Study

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The Health and Retirement Study (HRS) is a primary source of information on retirement wealth, income, and replacement rates, but calculating these measures requires a host of methodological choices that affect the results.  Since researchers have not yet established clear best practices for dealing with the survey’s complex structure, studies using the HRS are often inconsistent and difficult to replicate.  Additionally, the steep learning curve is daunting for young scholars interested in exploring retirement issues.  The CRR aims to make the HRS more accessible by providing: 1) a methodological guide that identifies the key conceptual and technical choices that must be made when analyzing a household’s financial resources in the HRS and 2) clean, well-documented code that builds on RAND’s efforts to calculate retirement wealth, income, and replacement rates.