Distress and Retirement Readiness

Managing finances can be struggle for those with mental issues.

The Social Security system’s future is uncertain. Defined benefit plans have given way to defined contribution plans. Americans are living longer. Incidences of depression and other mental health problems in older adults are growing. Given these trends, policy makers are increasingly interested in how mental health affects retirement readiness. “Psychological distress is associated with decreasing the probability of holding retirement accounts by as much as 24 percentage points and decreasing retirement savings as a share of financial assets by as much as 67 percentage points,” notes a study authored by professors Vicki Bogan and Angela Fertig and published in the journal Health Economics in 2018.


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