Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Nearly optimal asset allocations in retirement

Pfau, Wade Donald (2011): Nearly optimal asset allocations in retirement.

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Abstract

An important and frequently studied question for retirees is: what is the optimal asset allocation during retirement? This article provides a brief but simple message that conservative asset allocations in retirement are quite acceptable after all. A wide range of asset allocations tend to provide very similar results in terms of sustainable withdrawal rates for given probabilities of failure. For example, with Monte Carlo simulations based on historical data parameters, a 4.4 percent withdrawal rate for a 30-year horizon could be supported with a 10 percent chance of failure using a 50/50 asset allocation of stocks and bonds. But the range of stock allocations supporting a withdrawal rate within 0.1 percentage points of this maximum extend from 27 to 87 percent. Though asset allocation will also impact the amount which can be left as bequests, it is the case that relatively low stock allocations can support retirees just as well for a given failure rate and retirement duration.

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