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Retirement Withdrawal Rates And Portfolio Success Rates: What Can The Historical Record Teach Us?

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Executive Summary

Countless current and prospective retirees now rely on portfolio success rates calculated from the historical data for different retirement withdrawal strategies when planning their own retirements. Past history-based studies ushered forth what has become known as the 4 percent rule for retirement withdrawals, as historically 4 percent with inflation adjustments has served as a relatively safe withdrawal rate in the United States. But this paper investigates whether the safety of the 4 percent rule achieved with an aggressive asset allocation is an appropriate conclusion to draw from the historical record.

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