What Are the Effects of Doubling Up on Retirement Income and Assets?

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by Deirdre Pfeiffer, Arizona State University and Katrin B. Anacker, George Mason University

The Great Recession has amplified the increasing socioeconomic instability and inequality in the United States. While much work has been conducted on retirement income and assets, not much work has been undertaken on seniors moving in with their adult children, possibly to save on housing costs. Utilizing Survey of Income and Program Participation 2001, 2004, and 2008 data for seniors age 65 and older, we conduct descriptive statistics and three types of models. First, we use discrete-time event history modeling to analyze the effect of changes in retirement income and assets between the current and previous interview on the propensity of moving into a multigenerational household, controlling for other factors. Second, we use logistic regression to understand the effect of living in a multigenerational household on whether seniors withdrew various sources of retirement income or participated in various federal social welfare programs. Third, for those seniors who withdrew retirement income, we use linear regression to analyze the effect of living in a multigenerational household on the amount of retirement income withdrawn, controlling for other factors. We expand our analyses to control for direction, i.e., a senior moving in with their adult children or vice versa, and time, i.e., whether the recession impacts our results.

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