Consumption Smoothing

The ways in which people try to optimize their lifetime standard of living by ensuring a proper balance of spending and saving during the different phases of their life. Those who overspend and put off saving for retirement to enjoy a higher standard of living often have to work longer or reduce their standard of living in retirement. Those who over save will live a more frugal lifestyle while working to enjoy a better lifestyle while retired. In each case, the overall standard of living is less than optimal.

Saving for retirement is a delicate balancing act. By having a a better understanding of the saving and spending requirements to smooth out standard of living, one can have a a better overall standard of living, at least in theory. But this is easier said than done, and striking this balance is one of the major challenges of financial planning.


Investment dictionary. . 2012.

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