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Key Findings Details

Subjective Survival Probabilities in the Health and Retirement Study: Systematic Biases and Predictive Validity
Todd Elder
WP 2007-159

  • Individual’s subjective survival forecasts show bias relative to life table data. Many fail to account for increases in yearly mortality rates with age.
  • Recent cohorts of the elderly do not appear to revise survival forecasts to match increases in longevity.
  • Despite these shortcomings, subjective survival probabilities predict actual mortality and portfolio choice.