Lifecycle finance is how academics approach lifetime financial planning problems. The approach and emphasis can be quite different from a planning approach based on rules of thumb related to savings rates, income replacement rates, and withdrawal rates.
In my first column as a contributor to Forbes, I've attempted to provide a brief overview about the lifecycle finance approach to financial planning: "Lifecycle Finance: An Alternative for a Lifetime Financial Plan." The key variable is the sustainable standard of living over a household's lifetime, and I explain how savings rates, replacement rates, and withdrawal rates will only be determined after first figuring out the maximum sustainable standard of living one can enjoy with their lifetime resources.
Then, turn your attention to MarketWatch, where I've provided a follow-up example about how this consumption smoothing problem is solved with lifecycle finance: "Lifecycle Finance: Upending the Old Retirement Rules."