Evidence that Self-Regulatory Mode Affects Retirement Savings

Hyungsoo Kim, Becca Franks, E. Tory Higgins

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


We examine how self-regulatory motivations of locomotion (initiation) and assessment (evaluation) are related to retirement wealth in middle-aged and older Americans. We test a hypothesis that high locomotion and some assessment levels predict high wealth levels. We use two national data sets: the 2008 Health and Retirement Study (N = 6,464) and the 2005 Midlife in the United States (N = 4,963). We found that a combination of high locomotion and moderate assessment motivation can maximize wealth accumulation. By creating this combination of locomotion and assessment motivations, policy interventions can be more effective in motivating wealth accumulation for retirement, such as a required annual review of retirement savings plans and understandable disclosure of the plans' costs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)248-263
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Aging and Social Policy
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 2013


  • assessment
  • locomotion
  • net worth
  • regulatory mode
  • self-regulation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Demography
  • Gerontology
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies


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