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Making Sense Out of Variable Spending Strategies for Retirees

Pfau, Wade D., Making Sense Out of Variable Spending Strategies for Retirees (March 16, 2015). Available for download at SSRN: or

“Variable spending strategies can be situated on a continuum between two extremes: spending a constant amount from the portfolio each year without regard for the remaining portfolio balance, and spending a fixed percentage of the remaining portfolio balance. Variable spending strategies seek compromise between these extremes by avoiding too many spending cuts while also protecting against the risk that spending must subsequently fall to uncomfortably low levels. Two basic categories for variable spending rules explored include decision rule methods and actuarial methods. Ten strategies will be compared using a consistent set of portfolio return and fee assumptions, and using an XYZ formula to calibrate initial spending: the client willingly accepts an X% probability that spending falls below a threshold of $Y (in inflation-adjusted terms) by year Z of retirement. Presenting the distribution of spending and wealth outcomes for different strategies in which the initial spending rate is calibrated with the XYZ formula will allow for a more meaningful comparison of strategies. The article provides a framework for identifying appropriate spending strategies based on client preferences.”

OCLC Research: 2014 Highlights

“OCLC Research: 2014 Highlights describes the mission and goal of OCLC Research and explains the way in which our work is organized around four themes: Research Collections and Support, Data Science, Understanding the System-wide Library, and User Studies. Each theme is presented in its own section that includes highlights of key deliverables in 2014, includingContinue Reading

House Members Introduce Student Privacy Bill

EPIC – “Congressmen Luke Messer (R-IN) and Jared Polis (D-CO) have introduced the “Student Digital Privacy and Parental Rights Act of 2015.” The student privacy bill would prohibit companies from selling student information, using student information for targeted advertising, or otherwise disclosing student information for non-educational purposes. The Student Digital Privacy Act would implement portionsContinue Reading

CRS Report – Civilian Nuclear Waste Disposal

Civilian Nuclear Waste Disposal, Mark Holt, Specialist in Energy Policy. April 24, 2015. “Management of civilian radioactive waste has posed difficult issues for Congress since the beginning of the nuclear power industry in the 1950s. Federal policy is based on the premise that nuclear waste can be disposed of safely, but proposed storage and disposalContinue Reading

European Fighters in Syria and Iraq: Assessments, Responses, and Issues for the United States

CRS Report – European Fighters in Syria and Iraq: Assessments, Responses, and Issues for the United States, April 27, 2015. “The rising number of U.S. and European citizens traveling to fight with rebel and terrorist groups in Syria and Iraq has emerged as a growing concern for U.S. and European leaders, including Members of Congress.Continue Reading

Mandatory Minimum Sentencing Legislation in the 114th Congress

CRS Report – Mandatory Minimum Sentencing Legislation in the 114th Congress. Charles Doyle Senior Specialist in American Public Law, April 29, 2015. “A surprising number of federal crimes carry mandatory minimum terms of imprisonment; that is, they are punishably by imprisonment for a term of not less than some number of years. During the 114thContinue Reading

Study – Supplementary feeding restructures urban bird communities

“Food availability is a primary driver of avian population regulation. However, few studies have considered the effects of what is essentially a massive supplementary feeding experiment: the practice of wild bird feeding. Bird feeding has been posited as an important factor influencing the structure of bird communities, especially in urban areas, although experimental evidence toContinue Reading

Algorithmic Trading Briefing Note

New York Fed: “High-frequency trading (“HFT”), or high-speed trading (“HST”), a type of algorithmic (or “algo”) trading, is now a well-known feature of the global market landscape. In many markets, a small number of firms may account for a large proportion of trading volume. Although it has been argued that HFT has lowered investors’ tradingContinue Reading

A Tale of Twin Tech: Bitcoin and the WWW

Folkinshteyn, Daniel and Lennon, Mark M and Reilly, Timothy, A Tale of Twin Tech: Bitcoin and the WWW (February 1, 2015). Journal of Strategic and International Studies, Forthcoming. Available for download at SSRN: “Bitcoin is widely represented in the popular press, but far less so in serious academic inquiry. Researchers have analyzed Bitcoin fromContinue Reading

State of the News Media 2015

“Call it a mobile majority. At the start of 2015, 39 of the top 50 digital news websites have more traffic to their sites and associated applications coming from mobile devices than from desktop computers, according to Pew Research Center’s analysis of comScore data. At the same time, though, desktop visitors to these sites tendContinue Reading

The State & Local Finance Initiative’s State Economic Monito

“The State & Local Finance Initiative’s State Economic Monitor tracks and analyzes economic and fiscal trends at the state level. Its interactive graphics highlight particular differences across all 50 states and the District of Columbia in employment, wages, housing, and taxes. Each section is updated when new data are released. The US Bureau of LaborContinue Reading

End-of-Life Finances for Older Americans and The Use of “Big Data” in Employee Benefits

“New research by the nonpartisan Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI) shows that a large percentage of individuals who died recently had little or no assets. Those who died relatively younger were even more likely to be in this situation. “Households which lost family members at relatively younger ages were also the households with lower assetContinue Reading