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23 Accounting for Retirement Asset Distributions during the Decumulation Stage of Life

From the book De Gruyter Handbook of Personal Finance

  • Chia-Li Chien


Retirement planning research is focused heavily on the portfolio of financial assets, which may not be appropriate for all clients. Liabilities are affected by state of residence and scaling factors must be applied to determine accurate spending projections and advice. Liquid assets may not be sufficient to offset unmitigated or unmanaged risks. In this chapter, retirement assets accumulated pre-retirement, post-retirement liabilities, and retirement risks are reviewed using the retirement balance sheet as a basis. The question underlying the work presented in this chapter is: To have 90 percent retirement success rates, what relationship, if any, exists between scaling factors, portfolio of financial assets (PFA)/net worth, and home equity assets (HEA)/net worth ratios with or without a home equity conversion mortgage (HECM) among the U.S. population? Using a proprietary dataset, PFA/NW and HEA/NW ratios were calculated for couples and singles households with and without HECM eligibility and use. A positive correlation between scaling factors and PFA/NW ratios and a negative correlation between scaling factors and HEA/NW ratios was observed. It was determined that as a personal finance tool, home equity conversion mortgages should be considered whenever the goal of a decumulation plan is to enhance retiree spending and retirement success.

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