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Optimal Gradual Annuitization: Quantifying the Costs of Switching to Annuities

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  • Wolfram J. Horneff
  • Raimond H. Maurer
  • Michael Z. Stamos

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Wolfram J. Horneff & Raimond H. Maurer & Michael Z. Stamos, 2008. "Optimal Gradual Annuitization: Quantifying the Costs of Switching to Annuities," Journal of Risk & Insurance, The American Risk and Insurance Association, vol. 75(4), pages 1019-1038.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:jrinsu:v:75:y:2008:i:4:p:1019-1038
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. 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.
    2. 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 937-969, July.
    3. 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.
    4. 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.
    5. 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, April.
    6. 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.
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    Cited by:

    1. Horneff, Wolfram J. & Maurer, Raimond H. & Mitchell, Olivia S. & Stamos, Michael Z., 2010. "Variable payout annuities and dynamic portfolio choice in retirement," Journal of Pension Economics and Finance, Cambridge University Press, vol. 9(02), pages 163-183, April.
    2. Sanders, Lisanne & De Waegenaere, Anja & Nijman, Theo E., 2013. "When can insurers offer products that dominate delayed old-age pension benefit claiming?," Insurance: Mathematics and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(1), pages 134-149.
    3. Horneff, Vanya & Kasch├╝tzke, Barbara & Maurer, Raimond & Rogalla, Ralph, 2014. "Welfare implications of product choice regulation during the payout phase of funded pensions," Journal of Pension Economics and Finance, Cambridge University Press, vol. 13(03), pages 272-296, July.
    4. Sutcliffe, Charles, 2015. "Trading death: The implications of annuity replication for the annuity puzzle, arbitrage, speculation and portfolios," International Review of Financial Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 38(C), pages 163-174.
    5. Blake, David & Wright, Douglas & Zhang, Yumeng, 2014. "Age-dependent investing: Optimal funding and investment strategies in defined contribution pension plans when members are rational life cycle financial planners," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 38(C), pages 105-124.
    6. repec:eee:hapoch:v1_567 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Wiafe, Osei K. & Basu, Anup K. & Chen, John, 2017. "The effects of age pension on retirement drawdown choices," Finance Research Letters, Elsevier, vol. 20(C), pages 81-87.
    8. David Blake & Tom Boardman, 2014. "Spend More Today Safely: Using Behavioral Economics to Improve Retirement Expenditure Decisions With SPEEDOMETER Plans," Risk Management and Insurance Review, American Risk and Insurance Association, vol. 17(1), pages 83-112, March.
    9. Thomas Post, 2009. "Individual Welfare Gains from Deferred Life-Annuities under Stochastic Lee-Carter Mortality," SFB 649 Discussion Papers SFB649DP2009-022, Sonderforschungsbereich 649, Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany.
    10. repec:spr:annopr:v:260:y:2018:i:1:d:10.1007_s10479-016-2387-x is not listed on IDEAS
    11. Blake, David & Boardman, Tom, 2010. "Spend more today: Using behavioural economics to improve retirement expenditure decisions," MPRA Paper 34234, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    12. Hans Fehr, 2009. "Computable Stochastic Equilibrium Models and Their Use in Pension- and Ageing Research," De Economist, Springer, vol. 157(4), pages 359-416, December.

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