Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Retirement savings guidelines for residents of emerging market countries

Meng, Channarith and Pfau, Wade Donald (2011): Retirement savings guidelines for residents of emerging market countries.

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Abstract

Most literature about retirement planning treats the working (accumulation) and retirement (decumulation) phases separately. The traditional approach decides on safe withdrawal rate, uses it to derive a wealth accumulation target, and then calculates the savings rate required to achieve this wealth target. Because low sustainable withdrawal rates tend to occur after bull markets, such a formulation will push individuals toward unnecessarily high savings rates to attain their desired retirement spending goals, reducing their feasible lifestyle prior to retirement. By jointly considering both phases of retirement planning, this study provides savings rate guidelines for individuals in 25 emerging market countries. The savings rates calculated here are those which provide an adequate success rate in financing desired retirement expenditures using bootstrapped Monte Carlo simulations. For many emerging market countries, these savings rates will be high, given the high volatility of returns for savings instruments and the inflationary environment. Starting to save early and using a relatively low stock allocation, a finding that contrasts with studies about the United States, provide the lowest necessary savings rate for a given probability of success.

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