The Key Decisions for Retirement Success – Wade Pfau
You’ll face a myriad of decisions in planning for retirement. Wade Pfau has written a comprehensive guide to help you prepare well, financially and otherwise. He joins us to discuss how to fortify your retirement planning and decision-making.
- How he became interested in studying retirement and retirement planning
- The key risks to manage in planning for retirement
- Why the traditional concept of retirement is increasingly unaffordable – and what to do instead
- His views on the 4% rule
- The roles that annuities and reverse mortgages can play in retirement planning
- The pros and cons of working longer
- What to consider in deciding where to live in retirement
- The non-financial aspects of transitioning to retirement – and special challenges for introverts
- How to assess your preparedness for retirement
Wade joins us from Dallas.
Wade D. Pfau, PhD, is Professor of Retirement Income in the Ph.D. in Financial and Retirement Planning program, Co-Director of the New York Life Center for Retirement Income, and RICP® program director at The American College of Financial Services.
Pfau is a co-editor of the Journal of Personal Finance. He has spoken at national conferences of organizations for financial professionals such as the CFA Institute, FPA, NAPFA, AICPA-PFP, and AFS. He also publishes frequently in a wide variety of academic and practitioner research journals. He hosts the Retirement Researcher blog, and is a monthly columnist for Advisor Perspectives, a RetireMentor for MarketWatch, a contributor to Forbes, and an Expert Panelist for The Wall Street Journal. His research has been discussed in outlets that include print editions of The Economist, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and Money Magazine.
Pfau was a selectee for the InvestmentNews “Power 20” in 2013 and “40 Under 40” in 2014, the Investment Advisor 35 list for 2015, the IA 25 list for 2014, and Financial Planning magazine’s Influencer Awards. He is a two-time winner of the Journal of Financial Planning Montgomery-Warschauer Award, a two-time winner of the Academic Thought Leadership Award from the Retirement Income Industry Association, and a best paper award winner in the retirement category from the Academy of Financial Services.
Pfau holds a doctorate in economics and a master’s degree from Princeton University, and bachelor of arts and bachelor of science degrees from the University of Iowa. He is also a Chartered Financial Analyst® (CFA®).
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“Risks fall into a few different categories. Longevity risk is worth mentioning first, and it’s a good thing in a way. You don’t know how long you’re going to live, and you might live a very long time, which is wonderful, but just on the financial side, it’s expensive to live a long time. You have to fund your retirement for more and more years. So longevity risks really is the overarching risk, and you’ve got the different types of market risk and market volatility, interest rates that are changing, and so forth, just market-related risks and inflation could be part of that as well. But even a low inflation rate over a long retirement can really compound over time. And then everything else really falls into the category of spending shocks. Which is you may have a reasonable baseline budget that you anticipate, but just the unexpected events that happen outside of that, or you may have a sense of something that may or may not happen like a big healthcare bill, having to pay for long-term care, having to care for other family members in an unexpected way. Anything that just relates to having to pay more than you anticipated is an additional spending shock.”
On Preparing for the Non-financial Side of Retirement
“I think that’s important cause I’ve historically always focused more on the financial side. So to build out the chapter on the non-financial aspects of retirement, I was doing a lot of reading and it always just seemed like, oh, in retirement you have all this extra time. So you’d go join the local social clubs and everything, make all kinds of new friends and move into like the age 55 plus or age 62 plus communities joining all the social activities, go to the dining facilities and meet everyone and just have a wonderful time. And I just kind of started thinking that a lot of people will struggle with all that. And that becomes a part of the idea of moving in retirement, moving as a stressful event, retiring as a stressful event. So for people who are thinking they want to retire and immediately move, you might want to separate that out a little bit to just not have too much happening all at once. And this also becomes an important conversation for couples or partners to consider as well. If one person is more outgoing than the other, maybe one of them is an extrovert. The other is an introvert. They have may have a very different idea about how they want to spend their time in retirement. And whether they do want to join all these social clubs or all these new opportunities, they can have this social engagement with their additional time. Now that they’re not working, does that fit their personality? Is that something that they’re going to want to do and be able to do and enjoy? I think partners in particular need to discuss this in advance to make sure that there’s a plan for things you’ll do together. Things you’ll do separately and make sure people are happy with all those decisions.”
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