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The Effect of Uncertain Labor Income and Social Security on Life-cycle Portfolios

  • Raimond Maurer
  • Olivia S. Mitchell
  • Ralph Rogalla

This paper examines how labor income volatility and social security benefits can influence lifecycle household portfolios. We examine how much the individual optimally saves and where, taking into account liquid financial wealth and annuities, and stocks as well as bonds. Higher labor income uncertainty and lower old-age benefits boost demand for stable income in retirement, but also when young. In addition, a declining equity glide path with age is appropriate for the worker with low income uncertainty; for the high income risk worker, equity exposure rises until retirement. We also evaluate how differences in social security benefits can influence retirement risk management.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 15682.

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Date of creation: Jan 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:15682
Note: AG LS PE
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  1. Alexander Michaelides & Francisco J. Gomes, 2005. "Optimal life cycle asset allocation : understanding the empirical evidence," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 193, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  2. 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.
  3. Bodie, Zvi & Detemple, Jerome B. & Otruba, Susanne & Walter, Stephan, 2004. "Optimal consumption-portfolio choices and retirement planning," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 28(6), pages 1115-1148, March.
  4. Heaton, John & Lucas, Deborah, 1997. "Market Frictions, Savings Behavior, And Portfolio Choice," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 1(01), pages 76-101, January.
  5. Olivia S. Mitchell, 1999. "New Evidence on the Money's Worth of Individual Annuities," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(5), pages 1299-1318, December.
  6. Luis M. Viceira, 2001. "Optimal Portfolio Choice for Long-Horizon Investors with Nontradable Labor Income," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 56(2), pages 433-470, 04.
  7. Valery Polkovnichenko, 2007. "Life-Cycle Portfolio Choice with Additive Habit Formation Preferences and Uninsurable Labor Income Risk," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 20(1), pages 83-124, January.
  8. Horneff, Wolfram J. & Maurer, Raimond H. & Mitchell, Olivia S. & Stamos, Michael Z., 2009. "Asset allocation and location over the life cycle with investment-linked survival-contingent payouts," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 33(9), pages 1688-1699, September.
  9. Jessica A. Wachter & Motohiro Yogo, 2010. "Why Do Household Portfolio Shares Rise in Wealth?," NBER Working Papers 16316, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Olivia S. Mitchell & John W.R. Phillips, 2006. "Social Security Replacement Rates for Alternative Earnings Benchmarks," Working Papers wp116, University of Michigan, Michigan Retirement Research Center.
  11. Horneff, Wolfram J. & Maurer, Raimond H. & Stamos, Michael Z., 2008. "Life-cycle asset allocation with annuity markets," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 32(11), pages 3590-3612, November.
  12. Hurd, Michael D, 1989. "Mortality Risk and Bequests," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 57(4), pages 779-813, July.
  13. Jingjing Chai & Wolfram Horneff & Raimond Maurer & Olivia S. Mitchell, 2009. "Extending Life Cycle Models of Optimal Portfolio Choice: Integrating Flexible Work, Endogenous Retirement, and Investment Decisions with Lifetime Payouts," NBER Working Papers 15079, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Cannon, Edmund & Tonks, Ian, 2008. "Annuity Markets," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199216994.
  15. 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.
  16. Campbell, John Y. & Viceira, Luis M., 2002. "Strategic Asset Allocation: Portfolio Choice for Long-Term Investors," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198296942.
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