Retirement Answer Man

Once again we are tackling your retirement assumptions on Retirement Answer Man. This week we’ll discuss market assumptions. You are modeling 30 years out, so the market assumptions that you make can easily overestimate or underestimate the amount of money you will need. What kind of market assumptions have you been making with your models? 

What are capital market assumptions?

Capital market assumptions are the assumptions that investment managers or asset allocation software use to design your pie chart. It will include what the expected returns are for the asset class. The factors include what the return assumption is, what the standard deviation is, and how each ingredient reacts with each other. We can refer to these factors as return - volatility - correlation. We try to manipulate these assumptions and put our own views on top of them. It is important to note that these are the components of your pie chart asset allocation forecast. 

It’s different this time…

We always think that this time is different. Each major crisis has been unique. The Great Recession of 2008 hit us all hard and changed paradigms. During The New Economy of the 90s, many threw caution to the wind because they just knew that returns were always going to be 20%. But this time is different, right? This pandemic, it’s personal. The safety of our families is at stake. You can’t leave your house. But this time just like all the rest one thing stays the same. It is difficult just to try and be reasonable. 

What kind of historical market assumptions do you use to plan your retirement?

Many people like to use the 10% number to plan their retirement model. But why do they choose 10%? Is it a nice round number? The last 5 years’ stock market returns were 7.7%. During the past 10 years, they were 15%. Over 50 years that number drops to 8.4%. And over 94 years it averages 10%. We often use these historical numbers in our models, but these numbers don’t factor in the lumpiness. These numbers vary wildly from year to year which is why linear models fall apart over time. 

Find the answers to your retirement questions

In our Q&A segment, you’ll hear the answers to questions like, should you consolidate all of your assets in one place? How should you rollover your pretax and post-tax dollars? How hard is it to get a mortgage in retirement (even if you have a pension)? Should you use withdrawal strategies in retirement? Listen in to the end to hear all of these questions answered on this episode of Retirement Answer Man. 



  • [1:02] Capital market assumptions


  • [2:50] It’s different this time…
  • [7:05] What are your assumptions that the stock market will do going forward?
  • [10:32] It is easy to overestimate the viability of your plan


  • [19:15] Should you consolidate all of your assets in one place?
  • [23:30] Is qualifying for a mortgage in retirement challenging with a pension?
  • [29:16] Should you use withdrawal strategies in retirement?


  • [31:20] Reexamine your market and inflation assumptions

Resources Mentioned In This Episode

Rock Retirement Club

Roger’s YouTube Channel - Roger That

BOOK - Rock Retirement  by Roger Whitney

Work with Roger

Roger’s Retirement Learning Center

Direct download: RAM326.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00am CDT