Post–retirement planning : asset allocation
The purpose of the study is to investigate optimal asset allocation as a means of minimising the investment risk, drawdown risk and longevity risk associated with an investment linked living annuity. The three risk elements were tested for various categories of retirees investing the full retirement savings amount in a living annuity. At first the paper examines the South African public's current pre-retirement savings habits, propensity to save and knowledge on the financial industry. The literature concludes that very few people are saving adequately for retirement, thus leaving a gap between required retirement savings capital and accumulated retirement savings capital. As a consequence, retirees have to take on more risk, usually in the form of equity exposure, (only available in an investment linked living annuity) or delaying retirement, to try and breach the gap. Secondly the paper examines the constructs in developing an optimal asset allocation. An analysis of the constructs includes risk versus return relationships for retirees, various unit trust sectors and portfolios within the South African financial market, the investment horizon also stated as the life expectancy of a retiree and withdrawal strategies applied by investors or retirees. The practical data and theory from the literature study formed the basis of the empirical study where different retirement savings balances were tested at various drawdown rates and asset allocations in an investment linked living annuity. The study concluded that retirees have to consider, among other factors, the required standard of living (stated as a net replacement ratio), the need to withdraw one third of the retirement capital and life expectancy before investing in an investment linked living annuity. These factors will have the biggest influence on the risks associated with an investment linked living annuity. Furthermore, the study concluded that an optimal asset allocation would be able to support a retiree during the post-retirement phase. A well diversified portfolio with a minimum of 50% allocation towards equity and property assets seems to be optimal.