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Efficient Timing of Retirement

  • Kingston, Geoffrey H.

A fundamental question in personal finance is deciding when to retire. This article is a theoretical investigation within a conventional life-cycle setting. It finds two closed-form solutions to the retirement timing problem. One solution, based on an isoelastic form of the utility function and a non-negative rate of time preference, identifies nine variables that could affect the retirement decision. The other formula, based on a log form of the utility function and a zero rate of time preference, sees the number of variables reduced to four. This simplified formula is especially easy to interpret, and could be of particular use to empirical researchers and financial planners.

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2123/7417
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Paper provided by University of Sydney, School of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 03.

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Date of creation: Feb 1999
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:syd:wpaper:2123/7417
Contact details of provider: Postal: Sydney, NSW 2006
Phone: 61 +2 9351 5055
Fax: 61 +2 9351 4341
Web page: http://sydney.edu.au/arts/economics
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  1. Andrew A. Samwick, 1998. "New Evidence on Pensions, Social Security, and the Timing of Retirement," NBER Working Papers 6534, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Barry Nalebuff & Richard J. Zeckhauser, 1984. "Pensions and the Retirement Decision," NBER Working Papers 1285, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Zvi Bodie & Robert C. Merton & William F. Samuelson, 1992. "Labor Supply Flexibility and Portfolio Choice in a Life-Cycle Model," NBER Working Papers 3954, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Olivia S. Mitchell & Gary S. Fields, 1983. "The Economics of Retirement Behavior," NBER Working Papers 1128, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Lazear, Edward P, 1979. "Why Is There Mandatory Retirement?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(6), pages 1261-84, December.
  6. 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 247-57, August.
  7. B. Douglas Bernheim & Jonathan Skinner & Steven Weinberg, 2001. "What Accounts for the Variation in Retirement Wealth among U.S. Households?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(4), pages 832-857, September.
  8. Gary S. Fields & Olivia S. Mitchell, 1984. "Retirement, Pensions, and Social Security," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262060914, June.
  9. Merton, Robert C., 1971. "Optimum consumption and portfolio rules in a continuous-time model," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 3(4), pages 373-413, December.
  10. Courtney Coile & Jonathan Gruber, 2000. "Social Security and Retirement," NBER Working Papers 7830, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. John B. Burbidge & A. Leslie Robb, 1980. "Pensions and Retirement Behaviour," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 13(3), pages 421-37, August.
  12. Stock, James H & Wise, David A, 1990. "Pensions, the Option Value of Work, and Retirement," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 58(5), pages 1151-80, September.
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