Sunday, August 11, 2013

Retirement Planning in an uncertain world

Steve Vernon (CBS Moneywatch, August 7, 2013)
Another excellent post from my friend and fellow Fellow of the Society of Actuaries. Steve succinctly outlines the risks involved in planning for retirement in today's world and suggests the following two-step strategy:

  1. "Step 1: Plan to support the life you want, using your best estimate of the future regarding the economy, capital markets, your life expectancy and so on.
  2. Step 2: Be prepared in the event that your forecasts are wrong."
It would not be unreasonable to address the risks Steve outlines by employing some combination of (i) guaranteed lifetime income (immediate or deferred annuities, annuities from defined benefit pension plans and Social Security, including deferring commencement of Social Security to effectively buy increased lifetime income protection as discussed in my previous posts) and (ii) periodic withdrawals from self-managed assets.

The actuarial approach outlined in my website enables you to coordinate the spend-down of your self-managed assets with your guaranteed lifetime income and allows you to make the periodic adjustments Steve refers to "in the event that your forecasts are wrong."