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Abstract

Understanding the Finances of Low-Income Families
by Helen Levy and Kristin S. Seefeldt
WP 2008-199
How do low-income households think about retirement? Do they think about retirement? If so, when do they think they will retire, and what is it they plan to live on? In this paper, we present evidence on these questions based on 51 qualitative interviews with low-income families in the Detroit area. We find that the great majority of low-income households think about retirement, although this does not necessarily mean they are able to plan and/or save actively for retirement. Most respondents plan to retire as soon as they become eligible for Social Security or, in a few cases, private pensions.
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