BWM advisor and modern retirement theory co-founder, Jason K. Branning, CFP(R) along with M. Ray Grubbs, Ph.D. were included in the Forbes retirement article "What Is A Safety-First Retirement Plan?" By Wade Pfau, Ph.D., Professor at The American College and Principal at McLean Asset Management. His website:www.RetirementResearcher.com
In the Forbes article Dr. Pfau discusses the origins of a safety-first retirement planning approach with an investment only approach. Regarding the safety-first approach, Pfau states, "In developing Modern Retirement Theory, financial planner Jason Branning and academic M. Ray Grubbs create a funding priority for retiree liabilities. Essential needs are the top priority, then a contingency fund, funds for discretionary expenses, and a legacy fund. They illustrate these funding priorities with a pyramid. Building a retirement strategy requires working from the bottom to properly fund each goal before moving up to the next."
"Their pyramid is recreated in Figure 1. There is no consideration of discretionary expenses or providing a legacy until a secure funding source for essential needs and contingencies is in place."
"For essential spending, Modern Retirement Theory argues that funding must be with assets meeting the criteria of being 'secure, stable, and sustainable.' Funding options can include defined-benefit pensions, bond ladders, and income annuities. In this regard, another important aspect of the investment approach for the safety-first school is that investing decisions are made in the context of the entire household balance sheet."
Dr. Pfau summarily contrasts the primary approaches to planning for retirement. BWM believes retirement planning is highly individual and should be customized based on each retiree's set of assets and liabilities.