Comparing Countries on Perceptions of Financing Retirement

”The country’s (retirement) system (will) drop steadily to zero by 2035.” “The decline and eventual deficit concerns are being fuelled by a rapidly ageing population and shrinking workforce, with the gap between the number of workers who contribute to the pension fund and the number of retirees who receive benefits from it gradually getting smaller.” ““Young people don’t have as …

Present Value of a Growing Stream of Future Cashflows

At its core, retirement planning is about connecting present to future cashflows, where those cashflows might reflect your minimal annual needs, your more aspirational annual wants, or your anticipated annual funds from one or more sources.  Standard practice in finance is to discount future cashflows back to the present by applying a discount rate.  Spreadsheets are helpful in such calculations, …

Quantifying Your Subjective Beliefs

In what year do you think the first U.S. Social Security check was issued? Two people are asked this question, neither knows the answer with certainty, so they separately are guided through a process to represent both their best guess and degree of uncertainty, resulting in the two probability distribution curves below, dating back to 1776. Which person did “better”? …

Emerging Risks in a World Beyond Covid-19

The year 2020 will forever be linked to a pandemic, a known global risk that most years manage to avoid. Such hazards sometimes lead to cascading risks traceable back to its root cause. Already, the virus has led to major disruptions of economies, massive unemployment, and reduced levels of international trade (particularly regarding medical supplies). What other risk exposures lurk …