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A Modified Life Expectancy Approach to Withdrawal Rate Management

John B. Mitchell

Central Michigan University - Department of Finance and Law

October 8, 2010

This research explores the costs and benefits of modifying life expectancy (planning horizon) within a multiple-factor withdrawal management strategy. Stochastic optimization of Monte Carlo simulation analysis using data from 1926-2009 is employed within a seven-factor control limit model. This research contributes to the literature by modifying the planning horizon to avoid excessive withdrawals by those retirees most vulnerable to ruin.

Previous research has found that many of the portfolio failures occur in the final years of life. A more conservative approach to the final years potentially protects those retirees with the worst portfolio performance. This modification of the retirement planning model allows the majority of retirees to adopt more aggressive withdrawal rate strategies earlier in their retirement.

This model improves upon previous research by enhancing the median lifetime average withdrawal rate while maintaining less than a .1% probability of ruin. The efficacy of expected longevity modification is demonstrated for new retirees aged 55 to 75.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 15

Keywords: Retirement Planning, Withdrawals, Monte Carlo

JEL Classification: D14, D90, E17. G11, J26

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Date posted: November 7, 2010 ; Last revised: April 7, 2011

Suggested Citation

Mitchell, John B., A Modified Life Expectancy Approach to Withdrawal Rate Management (October 8, 2010). Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1703948 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1703948

Contact Information

John B. Mitchell (Contact Author)
Central Michigan University - Department of Finance and Law ( email )
328 Sloan Hall
Mount Pleasant, MI 48859
989-774-3651 (Phone)
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References:  21
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