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Abstract

The shift in responsibility for income security from the government to individuals makes the accumulation of net worth a vital issue. We investigated the rate of net worth accumulation for people aged 51 to 61 in 1991 (N=7,544) and 61 to 71 in 2001 (N=5,711) using the RAND Health and Retirement Study. We found that the rate of net worth accumulation by the fifth (top) quintile was extremely high in 1991, and the distribution of net worth became more skewed in favor of the wealthy in 2001. Older adults in the first and second quintiles are unable to face the challenge of the shift in responsibility for income security from the government to individuals.

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