Choosing when to claim Social Security Administration (SSA) benefits is an important decision for older Americans’ financial health. While past work has examined heterogeneity in claiming decisions, relatively little research has systematically tested the psychological factors that predict early or delayed SSA claiming or the effectiveness of theory-driven interventions meant to help with the claiming decision. A pre-registered experiment and three replications examined the extent to which intended claiming age is a function of theory-driven interventions, individual difference measures, and relevant interactions between interventions and individual differences. The interventions that increased intended claiming age were those that suggest that delayed claiming may be the right choice (i.e., injunctive norms, information about the commonality of regret), those that highlight the financial benefits from delayed claiming (i.e., gains framing, focus on benefits to the future self), and those that guide preference construction through self-reflection (i.e., focus on right-tail longevity, reason generation). In addition, intertemporal discounting, subjective life expectancy, and perceived ownership of SSA benefits predicted intended claiming age. This research advances our understanding of which retirees will decide to claim earlier or later and offers practical insights for policy-makers, financial planners, and consumer finance organizations.

What motivates social security claiming intentions? Testing behaviorally-informed interventions alongside individual differences

Greenberg, Adam Eric;
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Abstract

Choosing when to claim Social Security Administration (SSA) benefits is an important decision for older Americans’ financial health. While past work has examined heterogeneity in claiming decisions, relatively little research has systematically tested the psychological factors that predict early or delayed SSA claiming or the effectiveness of theory-driven interventions meant to help with the claiming decision. A pre-registered experiment and three replications examined the extent to which intended claiming age is a function of theory-driven interventions, individual difference measures, and relevant interactions between interventions and individual differences. The interventions that increased intended claiming age were those that suggest that delayed claiming may be the right choice (i.e., injunctive norms, information about the commonality of regret), those that highlight the financial benefits from delayed claiming (i.e., gains framing, focus on benefits to the future self), and those that guide preference construction through self-reflection (i.e., focus on right-tail longevity, reason generation). In addition, intertemporal discounting, subjective life expectancy, and perceived ownership of SSA benefits predicted intended claiming age. This research advances our understanding of which retirees will decide to claim earlier or later and offers practical insights for policy-makers, financial planners, and consumer finance organizations.
2022
Greenberg, Adam Eric; Hershfield, Hal E.; Shu, Suzanne B.; Spiller, Stephen A.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11565/4052066
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