A lack of assets and an earlier death are related, according to a new study by the Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI), a nonpartisan, nonprofit research organization, released Wednesday.
The study, The End-of-Life Finances for Older Americans, shows a correlation between those with little or no assets and those people who die between the ages of 50 and 64, probably because they suffer from poorer health, says Sudipto Banerjee, EBRI research associate and author of the report.
A significant number of people who died recently have little or no assets, ERBI says. People who died between 50 and 64 were likely to be in worse financial circumstances than those who died after 85.
“Households that lost family members at relatively younger ages were also the households with lower asset holdings and lower income,” says Banerjee. “Singles who died relatively early were in much worse financial condition than couples.”
For those who died at age 85 or older, 20.6 percent had no non-housing assets and 12.2 percent had no assets left, the report says.
Singles were worse off than couples. Among singles who died at or above age 85, 24.6 percent had no non-housing assets left and 16.7 percent had no assets left.
But those who died between ages 50 and 64 were even more financially strapped, according to the study. Of those who died at the earlier ages 29.8 percent had no assets left. People who died earlier also had significantly lower household income than households with all surviving members.
The average net equity left in their primary residence for those who died at ages 85 or above was $141,147 for couples and $83,471 for singles.
The data for the study was taken from the University of Michigan’s Health and Retirement Study. The study sample included 1,189 individuals who responded to a 2010 survey and died before a 2012 survey.