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Recalibrating Retirement Spending and Saving$
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John Ameriks and Olivia S. Mitchell

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780199549108

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199549108.001.0001

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Retirement Distributions and the Bequest Motive

Retirement Distributions and the Bequest Motive

(p.112) Chapter 6 Retirement Distributions and the Bequest Motive
Recalibrating Retirement Spending and Saving

G. Victor Hallman

Oxford University Press

Managing retirement payouts generally revolves primarily around securing adequate retirement income and assuring the continuity of such income for as long as the retirees live. Many commentators have suggested that the most efficient strategy to deal with these issues for risk-averse retirees is to annuitize retirement benefits. However, these commentators recognize that relatively few retirees actually choose life annuitization (the so-called ‘annuity puzzle’). One reason for this is the bequest or inheritance motive which involves using income-tax-favored retirement plans to pass wealth to the heirs (probably children) of the retiree or to charity. This chapter discusses the concepts, strategies, and constraints on using tax-favored retirement plans as wealth transfer devices.

Keywords:   assets, payouts, lifetime, retirement income, annuity puzzle, bequest motive, inheritance, heirs, tax incentives, wealth transfer

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