Sequential patterns of health conditions and financial outcomes in late life: Evidence from the health and retirement study

Hyungsoo Kim, Serah Shin, Karen A. Zurlo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations

Abstract

The cost and prevalence of chronic health conditions increase in late life and can negatively impact accumulated wealth. Based on the financial challenges midaged and older adults face, we sought to understand the evolution of distinctive sequences of chronic health conditions and how these sequences affect retirement savings. We used 10 waves of the Health and Retirement Study and tracked the health states and changes in wealth of 5,540 individuals. We identified five typical sequences of chronic health conditions, which are defined as follows: Multimorbidity, Comorbidity, Mild Disease, Late Event, and No Disease. Wealth accumulation differed across the five sequences. Multimorbidity and Comorbidity were the most costly sequences. Individuals with these health patterns, respectively, had $91,205 and $95,140, less net worth than respondents identified with No Disease. Our findings suggest policy makers consider sequential disease patterns when planning for the health-care needs and expenditures of older Americans.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)54-82
Number of pages29
JournalInternational Journal of Aging and Human Development
Volume81
Issue number1-2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aging
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology

Keywords

  • Chronic health conditions
  • Household wealth
  • Older adults
  • Sequence

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