Personal Financial Planning Doctoral Candidate and Advisor Recognized by Retirement Income Industry Association

Award-winning paper offers different approach to optimal withdrawal rates.

The Retirement Income Industry Association (RIIA) recently announced the winners of its first Academic Thought Leadership Award.

Duncan Williams, doctoral candidate and graduate instructor in the Personal Financial Planning Division of Texas Tech University, and his advisor, Michael S. Finke, associate professor and coordinator of the division, will receive the award along with the $5,000 prize at RIIA’s Fall Conference & Awards Gala on Oct. 3 in Boston.  Bruce E. Wolfe, the managing director of the program’s founding sponsor Allianz Global Investors, will present the honor.

 In addition, Williams and Finke’s award-winning paper, “Determining Optimal Withdrawal Rates:  An Economic Approach,” will be featured in the fall issue of the Retirement Management Journal (RMJ).  Also sponsored by Allianz Global Investors, the RMJ is the first peer-reviewed publication serving financial advisors, practitioners, executives and scholars who are interested in all topics relating to retirement-income planning and management.

“Allianz Global Investors is proud to be leading the industry effort in recognizing thought leadership in the area of retirement from both the academic and practitioner points of view,” Wolfe said. “We believe that new research and forward thinking in retirement income and investment strategies will help millions of Americans and their financial advisors prepare for a more secure retirement.”

The article documents a different approach to optimal withdrawal rates from retirement accounts. Williams and Finke consider not only the risk of running out of assets in retirement, but also the loss that occurs when retirees spend too little money and die with larger bequests than they intended. “If a retiree can tolerate a certain amount of risk, then it may make more sense to spend at a higher rate than commonly assumed,” Finke said.

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CONTACT: Michael Finke, associate professor, Division of Personal Financial Planning, College of Human Sciences, Texas Tech University, (806) 742-5050 or