Do Individuals Know When They Should Be Saving for a Spouse?

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The brief’s key findings are:

  • The retirement savings a household needs depends on its total earnings.
  • For many dual-earners, only one person has a 401(k), so the question is whether the saver considers the non-saver’s earnings and chooses a higher contribution rate.
  • The analysis shows that the 401(k) saver in a dual-earner couple does not have a higher contribution rate than savers in other couples.
  • As a result, dual-earners with just one saver end up saving much less of their total household earnings for retirement than other couples.