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Determining Your Clients’ Retirement Income Style | Wade Pfau, Ph.D., CFA, RICP

As baby boomers reach retirement, advisors must solve new problems for clients who aim to sustain their lifestyle over an unknown horizon. Multiple retirement income strategies have emerged and it is hard for retirees to identify which strategies match their personal style.

This presentation is based on research that identifies and validates a set of scorable retirement income factors to define preferences for an overall retirement income style. It describes a workable retirement model by showing how the factors connect to four main retirement income strategies: systematic withdrawals with total return investing, risk wrap with deferred annuities (or a HECM line of credit), protected income with immediate annuities (or HECM tenure payments), and time segmentation.

Approaching retirement income agnostically and matching retirement income strategies based on an individual’s personal retirement income style may lead to improved outcomes for retirees. This presentation better brings to life the safety-first and probability-based retirement planning approaches.

Learning Objectives

  1. Identify various approaches taken for retirement income strategies.
  2. Explain underlying retirement income factors which explain retiree preferences that coalesce into a retirement income style.
  3. Link retirement income styles to existing strategic approaches for retirement income that satisfy retiree preferences.

Wade D. Pfau, Ph.D., CFA, RICP®, is the founder of and, and a principal at McLean Asset Management. He was the program director of the Retirement Income Certified Professional® designation and a Professor of Retirement Income at the American College of Financial Services, as well as a co-director of the college’s Center for Retirement Income.