Page 1 Page 2 Page 3 Page 4 Page 5 Page 6 Page 7 Page 8 Page 9 Page 10 Page 11 Page 12 Page 13 Page 14 Page 15 Page 16 Page 17 Page 18 Page 19 Page 20 Page 21 Page 22 Page 23 Page 24 Page 25 Page 26 Page 27 Page 28 Page 29 Page 30 Page 31 Page 32 Page 33 Page 34 Page 35 Page 36 Page 37 Page 38 Page 39 Page 40 Page 41 Page 42 Page 43 Page 44 Page 45 Page 46 Page 47 Page 48 Page 49 Page 50 Page 51 Page 52 Page 53 Page 54 Page 55 Page 56 Page 57 Page 58 Page 59 Page 60 Page 61 Page 62 Page 63 Page 64 Page 65 Page 66 Page 67 Page 68 Page 69 Page 70 Page 71 Page 72 Page 73 Page 74 Page 75 Page 76 Page 77 Page 78 Page 79 Page 80 Page 81 Page 82 Page 83 Page 84 Page 85 Page 86 Page 87 Page 88 Page 89 Page 90 Page 91 Page 92 Page 93 Page 94 Page 95 Page 96 Page 97 Page 98 Page 99 Page 100 Page 101 Page 102 Page 103 Page 104 Page 105 Page 106 Page 107 Page 108AGING IN THE 21S T CENTURY 8 INTRODUCTION Our nation’s leading resource for data on aging in America — the Health and Retirement Study (HRS), a panel study of people over age 50 in the United States — is now in its 25th year. As the Baby Boom generation retires at the astounding rate of 10,000 people per day, this public asset is more important than ever. By 2030, when the last of the Boomers turns 65, the population aged 65 and older will have increased to 20 percent from 15 percent in 2015. This dramatic change in our population means that there will be more retirees drawing benefits and fewer workers to help pay for programs like Social Security and Medicare. The HRS was created to help address these challenges by providing information about the lives of retired people and people approaching retirement ages. P ublished in 2006, the first HRS data book sought to introduce the world to the HRS by describing the study’s innovative design and content and providing some early findings within the main content areas of health, work and retirement, income and wealth, and family connections. In the decade since, the HRS has built on its foundation of innovation, pioneering in new directions and increasing the data’s value and relevance. The world is noticing. There are now more than 24,000 registered users of the data — including scientists, policy analysts, me- dia, and others — from more than 20 countries. Every day, news outlets report on significant new findings from the HRS. With over 3,000 publications reporting on HRS data, this book aims to synthesize some of the research these remarkable data have yield- ed. In reviewing select HRS research over the past 10 years, our goals for this publication are: • To emphasize several integrative themes of HRS research output • To demonstrate the critical need for longitu- dinal data to study changes that come with age and changes in policies as well as the national economic outlook that can affect people’s lives • To illustrate why it is necessary to include assessments of economic conditions, health, and other aspects of life in one survey in order to gain a complete understanding of human aging The HRS is supported by the National Institute on Aging (part of the National Institutes of Health) and the Social Security Administration in order to meet the nation’s need for reliable data on the health and well-being of people as they age. Launched in 1992 at the University of Michigan’s Institute for Social Research, the HRS was the first nationally representative longitudinal study of older people that included detailed economic and health information in the same survey. Since then, the HRS has grown to become the largest and — with its expansion into biomarkers, genet- ics, and psychosocial content — the most compre- hensive panel study of Americans over age 50. The HRS provides a growing body of multidisciplinary data on aging.