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Portfolio choice in tax-deferred and Roth-type savings accounts

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  • Richard Johnson

Abstract

This paper uses numerical methods to compare optimal portfolios in tax-deferred and Roth-type savings accounts. Income and payroll taxes affect optimal portfolios in tax-deferred and Roth-type plans differently. For workers with assets in only one type of plan, the optimal equity share in a tax-deferred account could be higher or lower than in a Roth, depending on initial wealth. The differences in optimal portfolios between plans are large at short investment horizons but smaller at longer horizons. This paper also studies the 'asset location' decision of workers with assets in plans of both types.

Suggested Citation

  • Richard Johnson, 2003. "Portfolio choice in tax-deferred and Roth-type savings accounts," Research Working Paper RWP 03-08, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedkrw:rwp03-08
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Feldstein, Martin & Liebman, Jeffrey B., 2002. "Social security," Handbook of Public Economics,in: A. J. Auerbach & M. Feldstein (ed.), Handbook of Public Economics, edition 1, volume 4, chapter 32, pages 2245-2324 Elsevier.
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    3. Bodie, Zvi & Merton, Robert C. & Samuelson, William F., 1992. "Labor supply flexibility and portfolio choice in a life cycle model," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 16(3-4), pages 427-449.
    4. James M. Poterba & John B. Shoven & Clemens Sialm, 2000. "Asset Location for Retirement Savers," NBER Working Papers 7991, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Jagadeesh Gokhale & Laurence J. Kotlikoff, 2003. "Who Gets Paid to Save?," NBER Chapters,in: Tax Policy and the Economy, Volume 17, pages 111-140 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Shoven, John B. & Sialm, Clemens, 2004. "Asset location in tax-deferred and conventional savings accounts," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(1-2), pages 23-38, January.
    7. Burman, Leonard E. & Gale, William G. & Weiner, David, 2001. "The Taxation of Retirement Saving: Choosing Between Front-Loaded and Back-Loaded Options," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 54(n. 3), pages 689-702, September.
    8. Smetters, Kent, 2002. "Controlling the cost of minimum benefit guarantees in public pension conversions," Journal of Pension Economics and Finance, Cambridge University Press, vol. 1(01), pages 9-33, March.
    9. Burman, Leonard E. & Gale, William G. & Weiner, David, 2001. "The Taxation of Retirement Saving: Choosing Between Front-Loaded and Back-Loaded Options," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association;National Tax Journal, vol. 54(3), pages 689-702, September.
    10. Paul A. Samuelson, 2011. "Lifetime Portfolio Selection by Dynamic Stochastic Programming," World Scientific Book Chapters,in: THE KELLY CAPITAL GROWTH INVESTMENT CRITERION THEORY and PRACTICE, chapter 31, pages 465-472 World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
    11. Merton, Robert C, 1969. "Lifetime Portfolio Selection under Uncertainty: The Continuous-Time Case," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 51(3), pages 247-257, August.
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    Keywords

    Individual retirement accounts ; Retirement ; 401(k) plans;

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