Optimal Retirement Under Partial Information

Kexin Chen, Junkee Jeon, Hoi Ying Wong

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


The optimal retirement decision is an optimal stopping problem when retirement is irreversible. We investigate the optimal consumption, investment, and retirement decisions when the mean return of a risky asset is unobservable and is estimated by filtering from historical prices. To ensure nonnegativity of the consumption rate and the borrowing constraints on the wealth process of the representative agent, we conduct our analysis using a duality approach. We link the dual problem to American option pricing with stochastic volatility and prove that the duality gap is closed. We then apply our theory to a hidden Markov model for regime-switching mean return with Bayesian learning. We fully characterize the existence and uniqueness of variational inequality in the dual optimal stopping problem, as well as the free boundary of the problem. An asymptotic closed-form solution is derived for optimal retirement timing by small-scale perturbation. We discuss the potential applications of the results to other partial-information settings.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1802-1832
Number of pages31
JournalMathematics of Operations Research
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2022


  • consumption
  • early retirement option
  • optimal stopping
  • partial information
  • portfolio optimization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Mathematics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Management Science and Operations Research


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