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Optimal Gradual Annuitization: Quantifying the Costs of Switching to Annuities

  • Wolfram J. Horneff
  • Raimond H. Maurer
  • Michael Z. Stamos
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    We compute the optimal dynamic annuitization and asset allocation policy for a retiree with Epstein-Zin preferences, uncertain investment horizon, potential bequest motives, and pre-existing pension income. In our setting the retiree can decide each year how much he consumes and how much he invests in stocks, bonds, and life annuities, while the prior literature mostly considered restricted so-called deterministic or stochastic switching strategies. We show that postponing the annuity purchase is no longer optimal in the gradual annuitization (GA) case since investors are able to attain the optimal mix between liquid assets (stocks and bonds) and illiquid life annuities each year. In order to assess potential utility losses, we benchmark various restricted annuitization strategies against the unrestricted GA strategy. Copyright (c) The Journal of Risk and Insurance, 2008.

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    File URL: http://www.blackwell-synergy.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1539-6975.2008.00295.x
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    Article provided by The American Risk and Insurance Association in its journal Journal of Risk & Insurance.

    Volume (Year): 75 (2008)
    Issue (Month): 4 ()
    Pages: 1019-1038

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    Handle: RePEc:bla:jrinsu:v:75:y:2008:i:4:p:1019-1038
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    1. Kingston, Geoffrey & Thorp, Susan, 2005. "Annuitization and asset allocation with HARA utility," Journal of Pension Economics and Finance, Cambridge University Press, vol. 4(03), pages 225-248, November.
    2. Milevsky, Moshe A. & Young, Virginia R., 2007. "Annuitization and asset allocation," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 31(9), pages 3138-3177, September.
    3. Epstein, Larry G & Zin, Stanley E, 1989. "Substitution, Risk Aversion, and the Temporal Behavior of Consumption and Asset Returns: A Theoretical Framework," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 57(4), pages 937-69, July.
    4. Francisco Gomes & Alexander Michaelides, 2005. "Optimal Life-Cycle Asset Allocation: Understanding the Empirical Evidence," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 60(2), pages 869-904, 04.
    5. Joao F. Cocco, 2005. "Consumption and Portfolio Choice over the Life Cycle," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 18(2), pages 491-533.
    6. Horneff, Wolfram J. & Maurer, Raimond H. & Mitchell, Olivia S. & Dus, Ivica, 2008. "Following the rules: Integrating asset allocation and annuitization in retirement portfolios," Insurance: Mathematics and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(1), pages 396-408, February.
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