The gods of retirement planning

Those of you who know me well will recognise my obsession with academic research into my chosen specialism of retirement planning. Most people who have worked with me have rolled their eyes at some point as I have got excited about some new piece of research. I can’t help myself, but it’s because I believe that academic research can add to the wellbeing of people who have retired.

UK academics have shown a lack of interest in retirement planning, and it’s one field where we lag behind other Anglo-Saxon nations. American institutions have led the way in this field, but Australian and Canadian universities have contributed much to the field.

The internet has been a godsend. 15 years ago, the best we could hope for was an article summarising a piece of research, usually several months after that article had appeared. In 2021, I get alerts about new papers being published at the same time as other planners from around the world, and I can immediately read and review the information presented. Probably not great for my social life, but it means I can stay on the front foot.

This week, I received a notification that David Blanchett, a leading academic light in retirement planning, had published a new paper about patterns of spending in retirement. This kind of information is gold dust for retirement planners – in short, it has detected a clear pattern of “underspending” in retirement, and it also provides further evidence that spending in retirement increases at a slower rate than inflation.

There is a link to the research at the bottom of this blog, in the hope that somebody else will be as excited about it as I am!

As well as the normal posts on this blog, you will find others which set out the findings of the leading lights in our field – the Gods of Retirement Planning – David Blanchett, Bill Bengen, Michael Kitces and Wade Pfau. I hope one day to add some British names to this group.

Philip Wise | philip@sussexretirement.co.uk

Managing Director and Chartered Financial Planner


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