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What should an older American do with their home as they age? Homes are often the largest source of equity for a family, but they are generally not liquid assets. As homeowners age when does assisted living become an option? How is that paid for in a time without as many retirement pensions as a decade ago?

These questions are ones the Academy is interested in answering. Sometimes with sound financial planning, sometimes with types of loans or borrowing strategies, often by selling a home outright.

The financial service industry often prohibits agents and professionals from providing advice in the area of home equity. Once I give advice on your home, a fiduciary duty of care may apply. And not every agent is capable of prudent and loyal advice in this area. So we have a conundrum. Agents and advisors are not being trained to provide this critical advice, consumers go without help. And our academy is aimed at helping bridge this gap.

Recent Posts

Exploring the Retirement Consumption Puzzle

by David Blanchett, CFP®, CFA

Wanting to learn more about consumer spending in retirement? This article discusses the following topics:

  • Empirical research on retiree spending has noted a “retirement consumption puzzle,” where retiree expenditures tend to decrease both upon and during retirement. This decrease in spending is inconsistent with general economic theories on consumption, which suggest individuals seek to maintain constant consumption over their lifetimes.
  • Government data on consumption was analyzed in this study to understand how retiree consumption actually changes over time.
  • The results of the analysis suggest that although the retiree consumption basket is likely to increase at a rate that is faster than general inflation, actual retiree spending tends to decline in retirement in real terms. This decrease in real consumption averages approximately 1 percent per year during retirement. 
  • A “retirement spending smile” effect is noted. This finding has important implications when estimating retirement withdrawal rates and determining optimal spending strategies.
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