Retirement Income Industry Association

The View Across The Silos

RMA Essential Reading

RIIA’s Essential Readings page uses the framework of the RMA Curriculum to organize and to provide access to the essential sources in the evolving fields of retirement economics, retirement planning and retirement management.

Because RIIA’s mission is to discover the new realities of retirement by gathering, vetting, documenting and teaching the rapidly emerging ideas in these evolving fields, in addition to RIIA’s own material these sources include definitive books, award winning papers from the Retirement Management Journal, papers from other peer-reviewed journals as well as defining industry white papers and state-of-the-art blog posts for topics where definitive books and peer-reviewed papers are not yet available.

[Note: Book and RMJ links are to amazon. Member's can find RMJ pdfs in the member area.]

1- Practice Manual – Working with both Wealth and Consumption Needs:
Wealth and Consumption Planning(sm)

RPS Step (1): Have you communicated the central responsibility of the household client, their understanding and approval of the retirement policy?

1. The Retirement Management Professional Job Description.

2. Practice Manual for Retirement Management Analyst (RMA) Certificate Holders and Compliance Officers

3.  Charles D. Ellis, Investment Policy: How to Win the Loser’s Game

4.  The Retirement Policy Statement

2- Curriculum Book – Chapter 1
The Hub at the Center of the Advisory Process:
Focusing on the right Household Client tiers

RPS Step (2): Did you document the initial needs and goals of the household client (using the relevant measures of “fundedness” to explain overfunded, constrained or underfunded status) and presented the relevant capital market expectations?

1. PwC’s Fitness Maps to compare the range of Measures of Fundedness

2. The 5th Edition (published October 2013) of the RMA Curriculum is now on Amazon.

3. Mike Lonier’s R-MAP software for students and advisors

4. Morningstar Research Paper (September 8, 2012): “Alpha, Beta and Now … Gamma” David Blanchett and Paul Kaplan

5. Rappaport, FSA, MAAA, Anna. “Insights to Support Better Retirement Planning: Implications of and Key Findings from Recent Society of Actuaries Research,” The Retirement Management Journal: Vol. 3, No. 1, Practitioner Peer Review Committee Issue (Volume 3): pp 5-15

RPS Step (3): Did you set the initial, client-matched, fundamental policy decisions and most importantly the selected planning strategy (investment-based, goals-based, product-based)?

6. Zwecher, Michael. Retirement Portfolios: Theory, Construction and Management (Wiley Finance)

7. Zwecher, Michael. Retirement Portfolios Workbook: Theory, Construction, and Management (Wiley Finance)

8. Evensky, Harold and Deena B. Katz, eds. Retirement Income Redesigned: Master Plans for Distribution — An Adviser’s Guide for Funding Boomers’ Best Years (Bloomberg Financial)

9. Bodie, Svi and Rachelle Taqqu. Risk Less and Prosper: Your Guide to Safer Investing

10. Huang, FSA, MAAA, Dylan W., Matthew M. Grove and Todd E. Taylor, ASA. “The Efficient Income Frontier: A Product Allocation Framework for Retirement,” The Retirement Management Journal: Vol. 2, No. 1, Practitioner Peer Review Committee Issue (Volume 2): pp 9-22

3- Curriculum Book – Chapter 2: The First Spoke
Developing the full Household Balance Sheet View(s) is the Start of the Life-Cycle Plan

RPS Step (4.a): Have you documented the needs and goals of the household client (using the Household Balance Sheet Views (sm) and the Household Balance Sheet Benchmarks(sm) to analyze all Assets and Liabilities)?

1. “The RIIA Balance Sheet – The Head Office Perspective” Elvin D. Turner, JD, MBA and Larry Cohen, The Retirement Management Journal: Vol. 3, No. 2, Market Research Insight Issue (Volume 3)

2. “Projecting the RIIA Household Balance Sheet Into the Future” Anand Rao, Louis Lombardi, David Gates and Pia Ramchandani, The Retirement Management Journal: Vol. 3, No. 2, Market Research Insight Issue (Volume 3)

RPS Step (5): Have you planned for and explained Human, Social and Financial Capital?

1. Ibbotson, Roger G., Moshe A. Milevsky, Peng Chen, and Kevin X. Zhu. Lifetime Financial Advice: Human Capital, Asset Allocation and Insurance (CFA Institute, 2007)

2. The Promise of the Future, Larry Cohen, VP Director, Consumer Financial Decisions (CFD), Strategic Business Insights (SBI) and David Blanchett, Head of Retirement Research, Morningstar: Investment Management Division, The Retirement Management Journal: Vol. 2, No. 2, Market Research Insight Issue (The Retirement Mnagement Journal) (Volume 2)

3. Talk’ about Retirement: The Key to Retaining Assets, Jack Tatar, The Retirement Management Journal: Vol. 4, No. 1, Special Double Issue (Volume 4)

4- Curriculum Book – Chapter 3: The Second Spoke
Cash-flow patterns and the Completion of the Lifecycle profile

RPS Step (4.b): Have you documented the needs and goals of the household client (using the Lifecycle approach to cash flows over the remaining Time Horizon and longevity expectations)?

1. Anspach, Dana. Control Your Retirement Destiny: Achieving Financial Security Before the Big Transition

5- Curriculum Book – Chapter 4: The Third Spoke
Mapping Retirement Risk Exposures and the Retirement Allocations

(RPS Step (6): Did you document risk profiles and risk exposures of the household client?

1. Bodie, Zvi, Robert Merton and David Cleeton. Financial Economics (2nd Edition) (Pearson Custom Library: Learning Resources)

2. Ropeik, David, and George M. Gray. Risk: A Practical Guide for Deciding What’s Really Safe and What’s Really Dangerous in the World Around You

3. Taleb, Nassim Nicholas. Fooled by Randomness: The Hidden Role of Chance in Life and in the Markets

4. Taleb, Nassim Nicholas. The Black Swan: Second Edition: The Impact of the Highly Improbable: With a new section: “On Robustness and Fragility”

5. Taleb, Nassim Nicholas. Antifragile: Things That Gain from Disorder

6. Sornette, Didier. Dragon-Kings, Black Swans and the Prediction of Crises (International Journal of Terraspace Science and Engineering, 2009)

7. RMJ Practitioner Award (Sring 2014): “Financial Behaviors of Clients in or Near Retirement: What Advisers Need to Know” Helen K. Simon, DBA, CFP®, RMA(sm), The Retirement Management Journal: Vol. 4, No. 1, Special Double Issue (Volume 4)

RPS Step (7): Did you summarize the realistic investment objectives that match the household client’s needs, goals and risk exposures as well as the capital market expectations that support the retirement allocations recommendations and determine the plan’s threshold rate of return – the minimum annualized real return necessary for the plan to work?

1. Harry M. Markowitz, Portfolio Selection: Efficient Diversification of Investments

2. Grabot, Sherrie. “Financial Guidance Theory: A Rational Approach to the Uncertainties of Retirement Income, as Explained by its Creator Dr. Harry Markowitz,”  The Retirement Management Journal: Vol. 2, No. 1, Practitioner Peer Review Committee Issue (Volume 2): pp 23-27

6- Curriculum Book – Chapter 5: The Fourth Spoke
Retirement Allocations and the Retirement Policy Statement

RPS Step (8): Have you documented the choice of implementation process approaches?

1. William P. Bengen, CFP®. Conserving Client Portfolios During Retirement

2. Parker, CFP®, Zachary S. and Paul R. Lofties, CFP®, ChFC® . “Capturing the Income-Distribution Opportunity: A Historical Analysis of Distribution Philosophies and a Solution for Today,” The Retirement Management Journal, Vol. 1, No. 1 (Spring, 2011): pp 43-57

3. Williams, CFP®, Duncan and Michael S. Finke, Ph.D., CFP®. “Determining Optimal Withdrawal Rates: An Economic Approach,” The Retirement Management Journal, Vol. 1, No. 2 (Fall, 2011): pp 35-46

4. Blanchett, CFA, David, Maciej Kowara, Ph.D., CFA, and Peng Chen, Ph.D., CFA. “Optimal Withdrawal Strategy for Retirement-Income Portfolios,”  The Retirement Management Journal: Vol. 2, No. 3, Academic Peer Review Committee Issue (Volume 2): pp 7-20

5. Pfau, Ph.D., Wade D. “Choosing a Retirement-Income Strategy: Outcome Measures and Best Practices,”  The Retirement Management Journal: Vol. 2, No. 3, Academic Peer Review Committee Issue (Volume 2): pp 23-31

6. Advisor Perspectives, Wade Pfau: How to Use Bond Ladders in Retirement


7. Retirement Researcher, Wade Pfau: Retirement Income Stragegies


7- Curriculum Book – Chapter 6: The Fifth Spoke
Recommending Account Locations and Product Selections

RPS Step (9): Did you confirm the choice of account locations and making the product selections?

1. RMJ Academic Award (Fall 2013): “The True Impact of Single-Premium Immediate Annuities on Retirement Sustatainability: A Total Wealth Perspective” Michael E. Kitces, MSFS, MTAX, CFP®,CLU, ChFC, RHU, REBC, CASL and Wade Pfau Ph.D., CFA

8- Curriculum Book – Chapter 7: The Sixth Spoke
Putting it Together: Presenting the Complete Plan and Reviewing the Plan on a Recurring Schedule

RPS Step (10): Are you prepared to Present, Implement, and Monitor the Plan?