Behavioral Finance

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The psychology of decision making

How information is presented, or “framed,” and other personal biases affect decision-making. The TIAA Institute focuses on such issues as how to motivate people to make decisions about when to claim Social Security, whether or not to annuitize, and how to save for retirement. 

Insights

May 2016

More than 30 million Americans are projected to retire in the next decade – and most have not saved nearly enough for retirement. Moreover, almost half of all Social Security recipients claim benefits at the earliest possible age (62), which can greatly reduce their total lifetime benefits.

November 2015

As employer-sponsored savings vehicles like 401(k)s become a major source of retirement income for millions of Americans, personal biases can have an outsized impact on retirement security.

July 2013

Given the widespread transition from defined benefit (DB) to defined contribution (DC) retirement plans, Americans increasingly face the challenge of assessing whether their saving behavior is likely to provide a secure retirement.

Research Reports

August 2008

This two phase study examined how to motivate women to save for retirement. The quantitative first phase validated findings regarding the existence of distinct personality types among women regarding retirement saving.

April 2008

A growing body of research suggests that savings decisions are affected by a wide range of influences that play no role in a conventional neoclassical model of savings behavior, including framing effects, default effects, and inattention.

March 2008

According to standard economic models, a risk-averse consumer who faces uncertainty about length-of-life should place a high value on life annuities that provide guaranteed income for life. Yet numerous studies show that few consumers voluntarily annuitize their retirement savings.