This article is part of a series; click here to read Part 1. Using the portfolio return and volatility assumptions determined in Exhibit 1.1, we then reverse engineer fixed return assumptions and sustainable spending levels for a desired retirement time horizon and targeted probability of success. The investment portfolio is modeled using 100,000 Monte Carlo…

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This article is part of a series; click here to read Part 1. Spending shocks Unexpected expenses in retirement come in many forms, including: unforeseen need to help family members divorce changes in tax laws or other public policy changing housing needs home repairs rising health care and prescription costs long-term care Retirees must preserve…

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It is important to understand from the very outset how changing risks are primarily what separate retirement income planning from traditional wealth management. Retirees have less capacity for risk, as they become more vulnerable to a reduced standard of living when risks manifest. Those entering retirement are crossing the threshold into an entirely foreign way…

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William Bengen’s 1994 article introduced the concept of the 4% rule for retirement withdrawals. He defined the sustainable spending rate as the percentage of retirement date assets which can be withdrawn, with this amount adjusted for inflation in subsequent years, such that the retirement portfolio is not depleted for at least thirty years.

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A lot has already been written about the sequence of returns risk confronting retirees. But the full implications of sequence risk have not been completely internalized. Retirees become more vulnerable to investment volatility, because as they withdraw from their portfolio they may find themselves locking in investment losses. It’s the opposite effect from dollar cost averaging.

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