Saving for retirement is an extremely important thing that all consumers must consider as they age. With the many other important financial decisions that must be made throughout consumers' lifetimes, saving for retirement may sometimes be forgotten. However, with many government programs such as social security coming into question, consumers must become informed about the decisions that they must make if they are going to want to live comfortably in their retirement. This study investigates the decisions that consumers must make when saving for retirement, and specifically looks at the types of assets that consumers invest in and how they relate to their savings. This study uses the theories of intertemporal choice and exponential and hyperbolic discounting to show how consumers make decisions in multiple time periods according to their preferences. Using the framework for these theories, I have constructed an empirical model using data from the Survey of Consumer Finances to test my hypotheses. The ultimate goal of this study is to show the effect that investing in illiquid assets has on consumers' retirement savings.


Mellizo, Philip


Business Economics




retirement savings, intertemporal choice, behavioral economics, hyperbolic discounting, economics, consumer finance, consumer behavior

Publication Date


Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis



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