While Americans often worry about not having enough money in retirement, they seldom worry about their capacity to manage that money.1 At first glance, this lack of concern appears justified because many financial activities are so routine – like paying the monthly bills on time. Such activities draw on “crystallized” intelligence, which is accumulated knowledge that increases with age. But normal cognitive aging can lead to financial mistakes because people lose much of their “fluid” intelligence – the capacity to process new information – by the time they reach their 70s or 80s. And a minority develop a cognitive impairment that severely erodes financial capacity.
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