Phyllis Mutschler, PhD
Dr. Mutschler is Executive Director of The National Center on Women and Aging at the Florence Heller Graduate School at Brandeis University. Her research has spanned a wide range of topics related to public policy on aging: the economic status and retirement behavior of older workers and retirees; cost of living adjustments in state and local pension plans covering public employees; effects of family caregiving responsibilities on caregiver employment; and housing needs and long-term care of elders. In a groundbreaking study, Dr. Mutschler found that the losses in wages and retirement benefits for caregivers who reduced employment were staggering, averaging more than a half million dollars across their lifetimes.
As a Brookdale National Fellow, Dr. Mutschler analyzed how characteristics and decisions of women prior to retirement interact with important life changes after retirement to affect their well-being in old age. Currently, she is leading Center studies examining (1) the opportunity costs incurred by employment caregivers in lost wages and retirement benefits; (2) the effect of raising the age of eligibility for Medicare on women’s health care coverage; and (3) how income and educational status affects women’s response to financial education, particularly that offered through their employers.
Dr. Mutschler is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, the Boston University School of Social Work, and the Heller Graduate School of Brandeis University from which she received her PhD in Social Policy.
Brookdale Fellow Class of 1992