Improving retirement adequacy through asset class prioritization
MetadataShow full item record
Highly risk-averse retirees are generally advised to adopt a fixed spending strategy such as the 4% withdrawal rule. To prevent the premature depletion of a retirement portfolio, the rule attempts to proxy as the 'safe withdrawal rate'. But a constant withdrawal rate means that retirees accumulate unspent surpluses when markets outperform and face spending shortfalls when markets underperform. While a safe withdrawal rate can prevent spending shortfalls, the opportunity cost of unspent surpluses associated with this strategy can be extreme. We apply a range of basic investment decision rules to a retirement portfolio applying various withdrawal rates and examine the probability of shortfalls over a retirement horizon. Using a block bootstrap simulation technique, we examine decision rules relating to stock and bond investments. Our results show that retirement portfolios with a bias towards stocks coupled with a decision rule that sources withdrawals from bonds and cash before stocks significantly outperforms alternative withdrawal strategies, despite the inherent increase in volatility. This finding is in direct contrast to the safe withdrawal rate conventions used in contemporary financial advice models.
Journal of Financial Services Marketing