The Relationship between Retirement Wealth and Householders' Lifetime Personal Financial and Investing Behaviors






  • David W. Eccles ( is a Professor at Durham University. Paul Ward ( is a Professor at University of Greenwich. Elizabeth Goldsmith ( is a Professor and Guler Arsal ( is a Teaching Assistant, both at Florida State University. This publication was supported by a grant from the FINRA Investor Education Foundation, USA. All results, interpretations, and conclusions expressed are those of the authors alone, and do not necessarily represent the views of the FINRA Investor Education Foundation or any of its affiliated companies. No portion of this work may be reproduced, cited, or circulated without the express written permission of the authors. The authors would like to acknowledge the contribution made by Jeanne Hogarth of the Federal Reserve Board of Governors, USA, David Macpherson of Trinity University, USA, and anonymous reviewers of the Journal of Consumer Affairs.


While previous research indicates wide wealth dispersion at retirement within households with similar lifetime incomes, there have been few attempts to identify personal financial behaviors associated with retirement wealth in households matched for lifetime income. Householders with similar demographics and lifetime income but differing markedly in net worth near retirement were surveyed in terms of personal financial behaviors undertaken during their lifetime. Results revealed key differences between householders with low and high retirement wealth in their financial behaviors and how these were acquired.