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Abstract: We analyze debt and debt management of Americans nearing retirement age, and we show that older people have numerous financial obligations that can lead to financial distress. Drawing on the 2015 National Financial Capability Study and an extensive literature review, we find that lack of financial literacy, lack of information, and behavioral biases help explain the prevalence of debt later in life. Our evidence also indicates that debt at older ages can negatively influence retirement well-being.
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Click here to see the November 2020 published version of this paper.