Spotlight: Olivia S. Mitchell

 How do changes in marital status influence a retiree's wealth? And are there differences based on gender?

Divorce and death usually reduce women's wealth substantially. The evidence is less conclusive for men.

 When it comes to overall wealth, how important is it for Americans entering into or saving for retirement to have a varied portfolio of investments and savings? Especially when most people consider the value of their home the most important component of wealth, and home values are declining in most markets?

Diversification is essential for having a well-rounded investment strategy. In particular, it is important not to have all one's eggs in one's housing basket, particularly given the downward trend in housing prices of late.

 The study suggests that the annual cost of informal caregiving associated with certain illnesses can be billions of dollars annually. Further, the financial costs incurred by families who provide informal care (through reduced hours of paid work) can be significant. If long-term care insurance is a viable option to help defray such costs, why are relatively few older adults purchasing it?

Research shows that many people wrongly believe that Medicare is going to pay for their nursing homes. The fact is, Medicare won't cover most long-term care expenses. However, Medicaid may, and this strongly deters people from purchasing long-term care insurance.


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