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Wade Pfau: The 4% Rule Is No Longer Safe

The noted retirement researcher discusses how pre-retirees and retirees can adjust their plans in times of market stress.

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Our guest on the podcast is retirement researcher Dr. Wade Pfau. Wade is a professor of retirement income in the Ph.D. in Financial and Retirement Planning program at the American College of Financial Services. He is also co-director of the New York Life Center for Retirement Income. A prolific writer and researcher, Wade has authored papers and books on a wide spectrum of retirement-related topics, including in-retirement withdrawal rates, optimal asset allocations for retirement, and the role of annuities in retirement portfolios. He is a two-time winner of the Journal of Financial Planning's 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. His latest book, part of the Retirement Researcher Guide Series, is called Safety-First Retirement Planning: An Integrated Approach for a Worry-Free Retirement.


He 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.


Background


Wade Pfau bio

Books by Wade Pfau


Wade Pfau blog posts on Retirement Researcher


Wade Pfau Forbes columns


Wade Pfau blog posts for WSJ’s “The Experts”


Wade Pfau on Twitter


Asset Allocation in Retirement


Kitces, M. & Pfau, W. “Reducing Retirement Risk with a Rising Equity Glide Path.Journal of Financial Planning. Vol. 1. P. 38.


Pfau, W. “To Rise or Not To Rise: Stock Allocation During Retirement.Retirement Researcher.  

Pfau, W. “4 Ways to Manage Sequence of Returns Risk in Retirement.” Retirement Researcher.

Benz, C. 2019. “Cut Stocks Or Add to Them? A Key Dilemma for Your Retirement Plan.” Morningstar.com, July 25, 2019.


Blanchett, D., Finke, M., & Pfau, W. 2013. "Asset Valuations and Safe Portfolio Withdrawal Rates." June 28, 2013.


Shiller P/E Ratio


Withdrawal Rates in Retirement


Wollman Rusoff, J. 2020. “Wade Pfau: Pandemic Tears Up 4% Rule.ThinkAdvisor, April 14, 2020.


Blanchett, D., Finke, M., & Pfau, W. “The 4 Percent Rule Is Not Safe in a Low-Yield World.Journal of Financial Planning, Vol. 26, No. 6, P. 46.


Pfau, W. 2020. “How Much Can Retirees Spend on March 11, 2020? It May Not Be What You Think.Forbes.com, March 11, 2020.


Pfau, W. “Using Reverse Mortgages in a Responsible Retirement Income Plan.Retirement Researcher.


Pfau, W. 2015. “Improving Retirement Outcomes with Investments, Life Insurance, and Income Annuities.” Forbes.com. May 23, 2015.


Finke, M., Pfau, W., & Williams, D. “Spending Flexibility and Safe Withdrawal Rates." Journal of Financial Planning.

Pfau, W. 2016. “What Is the 'Floor and Ceiling' Retirement Spending Strategy?Forbes.com, Oct. 18, 2016.


Pfau, W. 2015. "Making Sense Out of Variable Spending Strategies for Retirees.Journal of Financial Planning, Vol. 10, P. 42.

Bengen, W.P. “Conserving Client Portfolios During Retirement, Part IV.FPA Journal.


Guyton, J.T. & Klinger, W.J. “Decision Rules and Maximum Initial Withdrawal Rates.FPA Journal.


Blanchett, D. 2013. “Simple Formulas to Implement Complex Withdrawal Strategies.Journal of Financial Planning, Vol. 26, No. 9, P. 40.

Healthcare and Long-Term Care


Blanchett, D. 2013. “Estimating the True Cost of Retirement.” Morningstar.


Pfau, W. “What Is Age Banding and What Does It Mean for Retirees?Retirement Researcher.


Pfau, W. 2016. “Two Options for Funding Long-Term Care Expenses.Forbes.com. Jan. 12, 2016.


Finke, M. and Pfau, W. 2017. “Managing Long-Term Care Spending Risks in Retirement.AnnuityAdvisors.com.


Annuities


Pechter, K. 2019. " 'Safety-First' Income Plans, Per Wade Pfau.Retirement Income Journal, Oct. 10, 2019.


Hopkins, J. 2019. “3 Reasons Annuities Are the Unsung Heroes of Retirement Income Planning.Forbes.com. June 14, 2019.


Pechter, K. 2019.  “The Reason for SPIAs, from Pfau and Finke. Retirement Income Journal, April 25, 2019.