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Volume 10 Issue 3 - July 2009

Director's Corner

In the steepest recession since the 1930s, the Nation’s unemployment rate climbed to 9.5% in June. Indebtedness, foreclosures, and steep housing and stock-market price declines add to the misery. Although the circumstances that led to this may be complex, the reality for average Americans is that times are tough. This Newsletter includes an article of common sense financial advice from the AARP. It also includes a discussion with MRRC researcher Annamaria Lusardi about a path forward
for Americans to build the financial capacities they will need in the future.

The Annual RRC Conference meets at the National Press Club in Washington, DC, this year on August 10-11. This Newsletter includes a Preliminary Program. The conference gives scholars from all three retirement research centers an opportunity to report on current work. Six MRRC researchers will present papers. Alan Gustman will present his recent work on pension trends toward defined contribution plans and the vulnerability of older Americans to stock-market volatility; Annamaria Lusardi and Hugo Benitez-Silva will present papers on financial literacy and preparedness for retirement; Michael Hurd will present on the burdens for the elderly of out-of-pocket health care spending; Richard Burkhauser will examine Social Security Disability Insurance payments and the well-being of older citizens; and, Arie Kapteyn will compare disability insurance outcomes in Europe and the US. The Conference will feature as luncheon speakers Lawrence Summers (August 10), Director of the National Economic Council and Assistant to the President for Economic Policy, and Sylvester Schieber (August 11), Chair of the Social Security Advisory Board. We look forward to an exciting meeting on timely subjects.