Wharton Pension Research Council Working Papers

Document Type

Working Paper

Date of this Version



Many older US households have done little or no planning for retirement, and there is a substantial population that seems to undersave for retirement. Of particular concern is the relative position of older women, who are more vulnerable to old-age poverty due to their longer longevity. This paper uses data from a special module we devised on planning and financial literacy in the 2004 Health and Retirement Study. The evidence indicates that women display much lower levels of financial literacy than the older population as a whole. In addition, women who are less financially literate are also less likely to plan for retirement and be successful planners. These findings have important implications for policy and for programs aimed at fostering financial security at older ages.


women, financial literacy, retirement planning

Working Paper Number



The research reported herein was pursuant to a grant from the US Social Security Administration (SSA) funded as part of the Retirement Research Consortium (RRC); research support was also provided by the Pension Research Council and Boettner Center at the Wharton School. Financial support was also provided by the Pension Research Council and the Boettner Center at The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

Copyright/Permission Statement

Opinions and errors are solely those of the authors and not of the institutions with whom the authors are affiliated. The findings and conclusions of this paper do not represent the views of the SSA, any agency of the Federal Government, the RRC, or any other institutions with which the authors may be affiliated. ©2007 Lusardi and Mitchell. All rights reserved. © 2007 Pension Research Council of the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. All rights reserved.


Without implicating them, we are grateful for comments provided by Alan Gustman and participants at the April 2006 MRRC researcher workshop.

Included in

Economics Commons



Date Posted: 17 December 2019