Determining the sustainable spending rate from a diversified investment portfolio in retirement requires making decisions about longevity and market returns. The final section in this chapter provides an opportunity to integrate this discussion in order to obtain a better sense about sustainable distributions from an investment portfolio in retirement. Rather than blindly applying something like…

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There has been too much emphasis on the portfolio and spending conservatively to keep failure rates low. This is not the whole story for retirement income. Certain circumstances, which we will explore, may allow retirees to accept a higher probability of “failure,” and spend more aggressively from their investment portfolio.

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The fixed percentage withdrawal strategy is the polar opposite of constant inflation-adjusted spending. Subsequent strategies we consider will strive to strike a balance between these two. This fixed percentage strategy calls for retirees to spend a constant percentage of the remaining portfolio balance in each year of retirement.

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