011: Rethinking Reverse Mortgages and Building Better Portfolios with Dr. Wade Pfau *

Dr. Wade Pfau, CFA, the Retirement Researcher, has made his career diving deep into the world of academic retirement research to find practical applications and strategies to help retirees and financial planners alike. He’s the Professor of Retirement Income at The American College and the Director of Retirement Research for McLean Asset Management and inStream Solutions.

In addition to the Retirement Researcher blog and publishing in many academic and practitioner journals, he is also a monthly columnist for Advisor Perspectives, a RetireMentor for Market Watch, a Wall Street Journal Expert Panelist, and a contributor to Forbes.

He is also the author of Reverse Mortgages: How to use Reverse Mortgages to Secure Your Retirement and How Much Can I Spend in Retirement?: A Guide to Investment-Based Retirement Income Strategies. Though Dr. Pfau is an academic, his books aren’t unapproachable: they’re easy to read, engaging, and full of useful advice.

Today, Dr. Pfau joins the podcast to talk about the research that led to Reverse Mortgages, the key differences between investing before and after retirement, and how to build a more holistic portfolio designed to sustain your lifestyle, even in the face of a market downturn.

In this podcast interview, you’ll learn:

  • How planning for retirement is like climbing a mountain – and why the descent is often the real challenge.
  • The reason market volatility is riskiest in the first years of retirement.
  • What makes investing before and after retirement so different – and why you may need a different kind of financial advisor after you retire.
  • Why modern portfolio theory doesn’t take retirement or the individual into account – and what Dr. Pfau is doing about it.
  • How to find an unbiased financial advisor who blends multiple schools of thought.
  • Why Dr. Pfau developed inStream and what it offers financial planners.
  • The basics of reverse mortgages – and the reasons a reverse mortgage can be an appealing buffer asset.

Inspiring Quote

“We often think the goal of climbing a mountain is to get to the top. But that’s not the whole story. You have to make it back down the mountain as well.” – Dr. Wade Pfau

Interview Resources

Retirement Researcher
How Much Can I Spend in Retirement?
Reverse Mortgages: How to use Reverse Mortgages to Secure Your Retirement
Funding Longevity Taskforce


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