Why older Americans are taking on more debt

Older Americans are accumulating more debt as they near retirement, according to research from the Wharton School that reveals a troubling trend in personal finance among people in their 50s and early 60s.

From Knowledge@Wharton

Aging and the costs that come with it

As a high school student, junior Darcey Hookway spent time volunteering on a dementia ward at a local hospital. “The social aspect of their condition really struck me,” says Hookway, who is from London. “They struggled immensely with social isolation. And now with COVID exacerbating that more than ever, I think that’s a huge detriment to their health.”

Katherine Unger Baillie

Understanding infrastructure

In the second episode of Penn Today’s “Understand This ...” podcast series, emphasizing interdisciplinary perspectives, a Wharton and Weitzman School discuss the past, present, and future of infrastructure.

Brandon Baker

Improv with an impact

With their President’s Engagement Prize, Wharton School seniors Philip Chen and Meera Menon plan to create The Unscripted Project, a nonprofit that will run 10-week improv courses in Philadelphia public schools, partnering with the Philly Improv Theater.

Louisa Shepard

In the News

The West Philly financial literacy program that levels the playing field

Keith Weigelt and Jill Bazelon of the Wharton School co-founded Bridges to Wealth, a financial literacy program that teaches West Philadelphians how to build intergenerational wealth. “We’ve had some people buy houses. We’ve had people be able to afford retirement and open up accounts for their children,” Weigelt said.


NBC News

Crypto traders want payback after losing millions to Binance glitches

Kevin Werbach of the Wharton School said Binance, a cryptocurrency exchange facing international arbitration, has unsustainable operation practices. “For cryptocurrencies to be trusted and successful as an asset class, they can't simply be outside the rule of law. Governments have laws to protect their citizens, and it doesn't make sense for entities to try to opt out of them, even if they have distributed operations and no clear headquarters,” he said.


The Conversation

What is decentralized finance? An expert on bitcoins and blockchains explains the risks and rewards of DeFi

Kevin Werbach of the Wharton School wrote about the benefits and hazards of decentralized finance, or DeFi. “DeFi can magnify the already high volatility of cryptocurrencies,” he said.


Al Jazeera

Robinhood and the rise of teenage stock investors

Cait Lamberton of the Wharton School spoke about the rise, and potential pitfalls, of stock-trading apps. “You’re seeing a medium that was really primarily used for entertainment being used for something else,” she said. “There could be a mixing of entertainment and learning mindsets that could pull younger investors toward less diagnostic information.”



Black homeowners are being left out of the mortgage refinance boom

Benjamin Keys of the Wharton School spoke about disparities in home refinancing. “Some borrowers may sort of stay on the sidelines to wait until they’ve heard from a trustworthy source that it’s a good time to refinance,” he said.


Christian Science Monitor

Why pandemic forced baby boomers to rethink retirement plans

Olivia Mitchell of the Wharton School said retired boomers should reevaluate how much money they can safely withdraw from their savings each year. “It is now widely agreed that the 4% rule is far too risky a withdrawal rate given rising longevity, exploding healthcare costs, and low market returns,” she said. “3% is the new 4%.”