About Wade

RetirementResearcher.com provides independent, data-driven, and research-based information about retirement income planning.

Wade D. Pfau, Ph.D., CFA Professor of Retirement Income
The American College

Director of Retirement Research
McLean Asset Management &
inStream Solutions

wadepfau @ gmail.com

Curriculum Vitae in PDF format Résumé in PDF format
Wade Pfau Picture

This is where you can find information about questions such as:
  • Do I have enough saved to afford retirement?
  • What is the 4% rule?
  • What is the appropriate mix of stocks and bonds in retirement?
  • When should I start Social Security benefits?
  • What is the difference between fixed and variable annuities?
  • How can I build a retirement income strategy that will last?

I’m Wade Pfau, the Retirement Researcher. Please feel free to contact me, as I am available for writing, consultations, teaching, training, and speaking on retirement income strategies.

I earned a Ph.D. in economics from Princeton University in 2003, and I became a CFA charterholder in 2011.

My objectives are to generate high quality and practical research about retirement and personal financial planning, and to help promote broader education to the public and financial planners about the importance of developing sustainable retirement income strategies. I hope to build this website into a leading source of objective and useful information about retirement planning both for financial planners and do-it-yourself retirees.

What’s unique about this website is that I don't just write about retirement income strategies developed elsewhere. I actively publish research on this topic in leading peer-reviewed practitioner-based financial planning research journals. I'm a recipient of two Montgomery-Warschauer Awards (2011, 2013), which is awarded annually by the editors of the Journal of Financial Planning to “honor the paper that provided the most outstanding contribution for the betterment of the Journal’s readership in the preceding year.”  I've also received two academic thought leadership awards from the Retirement Management Journal for published articles, and the 2014 best paper award in retirement planning from the Academy of Financial Services. My research is frequently discussed in outlets including the print editions of The Economist, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and Money.
I also speak at leading conferences in the financial planning and wealth management world, including the CFA Institute's Annual Conference (2014), the Financial Planning Association's Annual Conference (2013 & 2014), the AICPA Advanced Personal Financial Planning Conference (2013 & 2015), the InvestmentNews Retirement Income Summit (2013), the Financial Advisor Retirement Income Summit (2014), and the national conferences for the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors (Spring and Fall 2013).

I'm a selectee for the InvestmentNews 40 Under 40 for 2014, the Investment Advisor IA 25 List for 2014, the InvestmentNews Power 20 for people expected to shape the financial advisory industry in 2013, and for Financial Planning magazine’s “Portfolio Innovator Award” in 2012.

I'm a regular writer for Advisor Perspectives, RetireMentors at MarketWatch, Forbes, and I'm an Expert Panelist for the Wall Street Journal’s Encore edition.


  1. http://systematicrelativestrength.com/2012/07/20/five-ways-draw-retirement-income/

    This article discusses two simple methods of drawing retirement income, both simpler than Guyton's. It would be interesting to see them compared with other methods in terms of total outcome: $ distributed over x years + remaining portfolio value.

  2. Thanks. Those are all in the programs I've written, but it's too much to include in one column. Interestingly, the IRS RMD approach gives results closer to Blanchett, and the constant percentage gives results closer to Guyton.

  3. Dr. Pfau: I enjoyed your study, "Reducing Retirement5 Risk with a Rising Equity Glidepath". Is there an interactive tool that I could use to test different withdrawal rates. I'd be interested in seeing a 3% withdrawal rate and maybe a 25 year retirement based on your rising equity glidepath strategy.

  4. Bob,

    I'm sorry that I do not have any interactive tool. Did you see the 3% withdrawal rate with 30 year tables? I can't remember if they made it into the online appendix for the article.

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