Research & Analysis by David Love

The Comprehensive Wealth of Older Immigrants and Natives
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 79, No. 4 (released November 2019)
by David Love and Lucie Schmidt

This article compares the retirement preparations of immigrant and native-born Americans aged 51 or older. The authors estimate the present value of future income streams in calculating measures of comprehensive wealth and an annualized equivalent. In addition to some significant differences in median annualized wealth between immigrants and natives, the authors find that the most recent waves of immigrants are more financially vulnerable in retirement than earlier immigration cohorts were at similar ages. With a decomposition analysis, the authors estimate how much of the immigrant-native wealth gap is attributable to differences in observable characteristics.