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Review: Society of Actuaries' retirement publications
Old 10-08-2010, 09:15 PM   #1
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Review: Society of Actuaries' retirement publications

Caution, long post.

It's not exciting reading [insert your favorite actuary joke here], but today I came across several written-for-the-layman retirement papers that I thought were very good.

They get a B+ or A for sure. And at least one, on risks, may be good enough for an ER reading list.

Negatives: The more sophisticated investors on the board will probably find little new. Also, there is no specific information on early retirement.

But I've bookmarked the SOA.org site, if for no other reason than the checklist-style information will be useful for periodic check-ups of my plan.

It all started with this article on MoneyWatch -
Seven steps to a sound retirement Robert Powell - MarketWatch

- which summarizes this 63-page paper:

http://www.soa.org/files/pdf/researc...et-phase-2.pdf

Quote:
Segmenting the Middle Market: Retirement Risks and Solutions Phase II Report

Retirement financial planning requires a methodical approach that identifies and quantifies each important component that affects the asset accumulation, income management and product selection/investment decision processes. This has been structured as a seven-step approach, which is discussed below.

The specific steps discussed are:

I. Quantify Assets and Net Worth
II. Quantify Risk Coverage
III. Compare Expenditure Needs Against Anticipated Income
IV. Compare Amount Needed for Retirement Against Total Assets
V. Categorize Assets
VI. Relate Investments to Investing Capabilities and Portfolio Size
VII. Keep the Plan Current
Sample from the text:

Quote:
When we think of assets and income, we need to remember that assets can be converted to a monthly income and that retirement savings are important as a generator of monthly income or spending power.

Likewise, income streams like pensions have a value comparable to an asset. One of the difficulties in retirement planning is that many people are not able to readily think about assets and income with equivalent values and how to make a translation between the two. Assets often seem like a lot of money, particularly when people forget that they will be using them to meet regular expenses.
Some more searching led to a paper on housing in retirement.

http://www.soa.org/library/monograph...-rappaport.pdf

Although, it is missing Nords' "keep refinancing your mortgage until your payments go to zero" strategy , I recognized all of these from posts I have seen on the board:

Quote:
Options for use of housing value to help support retirement include:

Paying off the mortgage, if possible, to reduce overall expenses
Selling and downsizing to a smaller home, freeing up funds for investment or annuity purchase
Selling the home, investing the proceeds and then renting
Securing a home equity loan or secondary mortgage on the house
Obtaining a reverse mortgage
Renting out extra rooms
Renting out primary residence and live elsewhere at a lower cost
Keeping the house mortgage free, and letting its value serve as an emergency fund if needed
The best, however, was a brochure-style publication based on this list of retirement risks:
http://www.soa.org/files/pdf/post-retirement-charts.pdf

Quote:
...the SOA published an informational chart in 2003 that explained the risks of retirement and served as an educational tool to help individuals prepare for them. In everyday language, the chart provided a comprehensive summary of the risks and complemented
other retirement planning material...

With the passage of time, the creators of the original chart recognized there would be value to updating it with insights into recently introduced products, legislative changes and new issues confronting retirees. As a result, the SOA is pleased to make available this new version [2008]...

Longevity Risk
Inflation Risk
Interest Rate Risk
Stock Market Risk
Business Risks
Employment Risk
Public Policy Risks
Unexpected Health Care Needs & Costs
Lack of Available Facilities or Caregivers
Loss of Ability to Live Independently
Change in Housing Needs
Death of a Spouse
Other Change in Marital Status
Unforeseen Needs of Family Members
Bad Advice, Fraud or Theft
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Old 10-09-2010, 07:26 AM   #2
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Where would most of the reasons people buy liability insurance fall?
What about being sued? "Bad advice, fraud, or theft" seems the closest category but it's not quite on the mark.

A.
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Old 10-09-2010, 09:17 AM   #3
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Good explanations-- thanks!

At some point a mortgage company is going to realize that their product payback exceeds my life expectancy...
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Old 10-09-2010, 12:04 PM   #4
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Thanks for posting. I love reading this kind of content. I always seem to pick up a nugget or two that I wasn't aware of before.
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Old 10-09-2010, 02:45 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Htown Harry View Post
Although, it is missing Nords' "keep refinancing your mortgage until your payments go to zero" strategy ,
Finally thought of a snappy engineer's comeback from the old punchline:
"It may not go to zero, but it'll get close enough for all practical purposes"...
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Old 10-09-2010, 05:31 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Htown Harry View Post
[insert your favorite actuary joke here]
I actually know one:

What's the difference between an American actuary and a Sicilian actuary?

The American actuary can tell you how many 44-year-old men will die next year. The Sicilian actuary can tell you their names.
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Old 10-10-2010, 07:07 AM   #7
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Nice research. Thanks for the link.

Here is the first part of the report.

http://www.soa.org/files/pdf/researc...ing-market.pdf
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