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Towards a sustainable retirement plan By Daniel R Wessels.

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Presentation on theme: "Towards a sustainable retirement plan By Daniel R Wessels."— Presentation transcript:

1 Towards a sustainable retirement plan By Daniel R Wessels

2 The conventional approach to retirement planning & advice Retirement capital required to sustain an annuitant’s real income (annuity) over the long term (25-30 years after retirement) Retirement capital ratio (factor of final salary) The minimum savings rate required to meet the required retirement capital The maximum withdrawal rate allowed at retirement to sustain annuity income over the long term

3 The conventional approach to retirement planning & advice

4 The basic premise of this approach is that we assume that future returns will be similar than what we experienced in the past… But is this a realistic assumption?

5 For example, consider three different investment portfolios and their long-term historical returns… Low-equity portfolio (25% equities, 75% bonds and cash): Medium-equity portfolio (50% equities, 50% bonds and cash): High-equity portfolio (75% equities, 25% bonds and cash): PortfolioNominalRealVolatility Low-equity9%4%9% Medium-equity11%6%14% High-equity13%8%18% Annualised portfolio returns (1900-2010)

6 Low-equity portfolio

7 Medium-equity portfolio

8 High-equity portfolio

9 In all instances we note secular periods of high and low real portfolio returns, i.e. a period of high real returns is followed by a period of lower real returns…

10 Therefore, determining a savings rate to acquire a certain retirement capital ratio and/or a withdrawal rate that will sustain the retirement plan over time may be futile because long-term real returns are not consistent

11 For example, the savings rate required to meet a certain retirement capital amount at retirement would have varied considerably over time…

12 Likewise, the maximum initial withdrawal rate that would have been allowed to ensure a retirement plan sustaining a real income over time varied from as low as 4% to high as 12% in the past…

13 And the retirement capital (retirement capital as a factor of final salary) required would have varied considerably …

14 The Targeted Retirement Capital approach: The higher the long-term real returns, the lower the required savings rate or higher the safe withdrawal rate…but you won’t know this beforehand!

15 Alternative Solution : Focus on the full cycle of the retirement plan, i.e. contribution period (30-40 years) and withdrawal phase (25-30 years) Then the question would be how much of my salary should I save each year to ensure that I will have sufficient retirement capital to sustain my retirement income over the long term?

16 Minimum Savings Rate required over time… 35-year contribution period, 30-year withdrawal period, 70% replacement rate, constant real income (annuity)

17 Safe Savings Rate based on historical evidence… 35-year contribution period, 30-year withdrawal period, 70% replacement rate, constant real income (annuity) The percentage of retirement plans sustainable over a 65-year lifecycle Savings Rate10%11%12%13%14%15%16% After 10 years retirement100% After 15 years retirement81%100% After 20 years retirement34%57%85%100% After 25 years retirement11%32%47%66%91%100% After 30 years retirement0%13%32%47%64%91%100%

18 Safe Savings Rate based on historical evidence… The contribution period, replacement rate at retirement and portfolio selection all play a key role… But the contribution period is probably the most important determinant…

19 Sustainable retirement plan based on historical evidence… Retirement plan sustainable for 25 years


21 Practical considerations for investors Start early – from your first pay cheque Keep the discipline of saving regularly, despite good or bad periods that you’ll experience over time At retirement: Do not go over the top! Stick to your budget and plan (do not withdraw more than you initially planned for and think twice about buying that car!) Retirement is not where you stop applying your mind and skills. Empower yourself to earn additional income from your specialised skills, hobbies or interest during the retirement years.

22 Practical considerations for financial planners  Most likely the planner will be approached by investors at or near retirement, not at the start of their working careers! Thus, the financial planner must advise on what is available, not what could or should have been.  Err on the conservative side in planning and projections  Identify low-cost administrative investment platforms and investment portfolios, which benefits are obvious in a lower real return scenario, but are easily hidden or forgotten in buoyant years.

23 Practical considerations

24 Thank you The full research report can be requested at: Daniel R Wessels Martin Eksteen Jordaan Wessels cc Financial advisors FSP 12406 2nd floor 5 St Georges St Georges Mall Cape Town 8001 021-4193134 (t) 021-4193390 (f)

25 DRW INVESTMENT RESEARCH Disclaimer: Please note that all the material, opinions and views herein do not constitute investment advice, but are published primarily for information purposes. The author accepts no responsibility for investors using the information as investment advice. Please consult an authorised investment advisor. Unless otherwise stated, the author is the sole proprietor of this publication and its content. No quotations from or references to this publication are allowed without prior approval.

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