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date: 31 May 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This article is divided into three main sections and a conclusion. The first section discusses recent trends in wealth accumulation, with a particular focus on the accumulation of housing wealth by older households. The next section examines the impact of housing wealth on consumption and investment activities, and demonstrates that, for most households, homeownership opens up new pathways for additional wealth accumulation. Given the fact that housing wealth is the largest component of wealth for most households, the article then turns to a discussion of the several significant risks that threaten to undermine the benefit which older Americans derive from accumulated housing wealth. The concluding section offers some brief observations on policy approaches designed to enhance the ability of housing wealth to add to the financial security of older people.

Keywords: housing wealth, retirement savings, wealth accumulation, homeownership, older Americans, financial security

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