Income and wealth during the course of life

  • Thomas Kooiman Thomas Kooiman
  • Emma van de Meerendonk Emma van de Meerendonk
  • Jason Rhuggenaath Jason Rhuggenaath
  • Marcel Lever Marcel Lever

This paper analyzes whether households diminish their wealth during retirement as the life-cycle hypothesis suggests. We also consider the development of income during retirement. We use a sample of eight million inhabitants, including a balanced panel of two million households, of the Netherlands in 2006–2013. The analysis shows that gross income after retirement is considerably lower than before, but income is relatively stable during retirement. Most people do not diminish their wealth or sell their own house during retirement, which is not in line with the life-cycle hypothesis. Finally, we could not identify a bequest motive, as the trajectories of total wealth and bank deposits at the end of life hardly differ between households with and without children.

Netspar, Network for Studies on Pensions, Aging and Retirement, is a thinktank and knowledge network. Netspar is dedicated to promoting a wider understanding of the economic and social implications of pensions, aging and retirement in the Netherlands and Europe.

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