Faculty of Economics and Business Administration Publications Database

Asset Allocation and Location over the Life Cycle with Investment-Linked Survival-Contingent Payouts

Horneff, Wolfram J.
Mitchell, Olivia S.
Stamos, Michael Z.
Volume: 33
Number: 9
Pages: 1688 - 1699
Month: September
ISSN-Print: 0378-4266
Link External Source: Online Version
Year: 2009
Keywords: Portfolio choice; Household finance; Life annuities
Abstract: This paper shows how survival-contingent investment-linked payouts can enhance investor wellbeing in the context of a portfolio choice model which integrates uninsurable labor income and asymmetric mortality expectations. In exchange for illiquidity, these products provide the consumer with access to mutual-fund style portfolio choice, as well as the survival credit generated from pooling mortality risk. Our model generates optimal asset location patterns indicating how much to hold in liquid versus illiquid survival-contingent payouts over the lifetime, and also asset allocation paths, showing how to invest in stocks versus bonds. We show that the investor who moves her money out of liquid saving into survival-contingent assets gradually from middle age to retirement and beyond, will enhance her welfare by as much as 50%. The results are robust to the introduction of uninsurable consumption shocks in housing expenses, income flows during the worklife and retirement, sudden changes in health status, and medical expenses.