Lifetime Income for Women: A Financial Economist’s Perspective

Written by David F. Babbel

Published by Wharton Financial Institutions Center Policy Brief: Personal Finance

Her First Job at 66
Last December, I was attending a large sporting event in Philadelphia and sat next to an engaging couple. The woman had never worked outside the home, having been occupied with rearing eight children — a “his, hers and ours” type of situation. Her husband had been educated at one of America’s finest universities, had completed a very successful career, and then retired three years earlier from a well-paying profession. When the man and woman learned that I was a finance and insurance professor, the conversation turned quickly to financial matters.

They informed me that the defined benefit pension plan of the firm from which the man had retired had been discontinued and re-opened as a defined contribution 401(k) retirement savings plan. Under such plans, the investment risk is transferred from the employer and government entirely to the employees and retirees. This meant that instead of receiving a comfortable monthly income throughout the rest of their retirement, they received a lump sum of cash that they could elect to place in a menu of mutual funds, or withdraw all the cash, and use it however they desired. The man seemed to be quite concerned about their financial future, and suffered from several degenerative ailments. We discussed the treatment
options and prognosis, which were not hopeful.

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Viability of the Spend Safely in Retirement Strategy

Authors: Dr. Wade Pfau; Joe Tomlinson, FSA, CFP®; Steve Vernon, FSA


This project explores various design and implementation details for the Spend Safely in Retirement Strategy (SSiRS), a strategy identified by the authors’ 2017 research project titled Optimizing Retirement Income by Integrating Retirement Plans, IRAs, and Home Equity: A Framework for Evaluating Retirement Income Decisions.

The SSiRS is intended as a baseline retirement strategy, to be used by middle-income workers and retirees to generate retirement income from their IRAs or employer-sponsored defined contribution (DC) retirement plans, such as 401(k) plans. It uses investment options commonly found in IRA and DC administrative platforms, and does not require the ongoing assistance of a financial adviser.

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What’s the Deal With Reverse Mortgages? Second Edition by Shelley Giordano, MA

As we enter retirements, the change in lifestyle is an inevitable challenge for almost every retirees. How can you preserve your lifestyle without steady income streams? How to utilize your existed assets to support your retirement? To answer these questions and offer more advice, Shelley Giordano launched “What’s The Deal With Reverse Mortgages” second edition on Kindle. Learn more about the retirement assets folks don’t know they have.

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SEC’s New Regulation Best Interest Rule: Is the ‘Best’ Good Enough

As SEC established a new regulation called the Best Interest Rule, its implications can affect thousands of Americans as well as the financial advisors in regards to the fiduciary and suitability standards. If you want to learn more about this new regulation, listen to the complete webinar here.

This webinar was co-branded by the Carson Group and the Academy for Home Equity in Financial Planning at the University of Illinois – Urbana Champaign.

Why The Announcement Of The Academy Of Home Equity Is Such An Important Development

By Jamie Hopkins, Esq., LLM, MBA, CFP®, RICP® on June 20, 2019

When it comes to retirement planning, discussions about downsizing, refinancing, making renovations to the home to support aging and reverse mortgages are ignored in most financials plans. This void is shocking since home equity is typically the largest asset that most Americans have as they near and enter retirement.

This gap in planning is why a new development at the University of Illinois Champaign-Urbana is so important. A group of researchers, thought leaders, planners, and industry experts, formerly of the Funding Longevity Task Force, have just joined Dr. Craig Lemoine at the University of Illinois Financial Planning Program. In the past, the group consisted of independent researchers, including myself, which is important to note as I discuss the new organization. The team formerly tested retirement income strategies and the role of home equity in financial plans. While much of the group’s research then focused on reverse mortgages, the academy is committed to investigate a broader study of home equity and retirement security.

For full article, click here.

Picture of Jaime P. Hopkins
Jaime P. Hopkins, ESQ., MBA, CFP®, LLM, CLU®, ChFC®, RICP®

Jamie Hopkins, Esq., LLM, MBA, CFP®, RICP®, is the Director of Retirement Research at Carson Wealth and a former professor of Taxation at The American College, where he helped co-create the Retirement Income Certified Professional® (RICP®) education program. Jamie strives to increase the retirement income security of Americans by delivering practical and trusted retirement research and education. His most recent book, “Rewirement: Rewiring The Way You Think About Retirement,” details the behavioral finance issues that hold people back from a more financially secure retirement. He has been selected by InvestmentNews as one of the top 40 financial service professionals under the age of 40 and was also selected by The American Bar Association as one of the top 40 Young Attorneys in the country. In 2017, Trusts & Estates Journal awarded Professor Hopkins the Distinguished Author Award for his article on the Department of Labor Fiduciary Rule. He holds his LLM in Taxation from Temple University School of Law and his J.D. from Villanova University School of Law.

The Reverse Mortgage: A Strategic Lifetime Income Planning Resource

Tom Davison and Keith Turner

The Journal of Retirement Fall 2015, 3 (2) 61-79; DOI:

There is little doubt that many older Americans are not well prepared financially. The reverse mortgage is a financial instrument that can brighten their financial prospects and reduce the chances of an old age in financial straits. This article explains how reverse mortgages work. Recent research shows that strategically combining reverse mortgages and investment portfolios can significantly boost sustainable retirement income. Moreover, in the last three years the regulatory framework has been revised to develop further the market for these instruments. Reverse mortgages are increasingly recognized as a valuable financial planning tool. They are now seen as well suited for retirees—not only underfunded homeowners who turn to a reverse mortgage as a last resort, but also those who enter retirement well-funded.

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OP-ED: How Home Equity Improves Retirement Security

A new form of SRI: Secure Retirement Income

Two major retirement challenges could be addressed through a simple innovation. First, long-term investors are struggling to meet their (lowered) target rates of return. Attempts to raise returns by investing in riskier assets only raises the risk of future underperformance. Second, individuals have insufficient retirement savings and are facing the prospect of a meager retirement paycheck. A new real estate sub-asset class, iHomes (Income from Homes), created by innovative funds and real estate managers, could address these twin challenges with attractive results for all parties. The solution rests in allowing retirees to tap into home equity to generate income, and for innovative investors to get rewarded for supplying capital for these transactions.

To dig into the article regarding home equity and reverse mortgage, click here.

By  Dr. Arun S. Muralidhar on May 31, 2019

The FHA Can Improve its Reverse Mortgage Program by Changing Servicing Protocol

By Laurie Goodman and Edward Golding on May 31, 2019

The Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM) program from the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) lets seniors tap into their $7 trillion in housing wealth to help them pay for living expenses that many have difficulty affording. But this program has proved very costly to the FHA, prompting the FHA to narrow the eligibility of the program, resulting in decreased participation.

To find out more about the potential solutions to this issue, click here.