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International Diversification and Retirement Withdrawals

  • Danny M. Ervin
  • Larry H. Filer
  • Joseph C. Smolira

This study evaluates the success of the monthly withdrawal of funds from hypothetical retirement portfolios for the period January 1930 to December 2001. The objective of this research is to provide an empirical examination of the historical effect of global diversification on the withdrawal of funds from a retirement portfolio. We compare portfolios consisting of U.S. stocks and U.S. corporate bonds, and portfolios consisting of global stocks and U.S. corporate bonds. We examine both portfolio compositions using a variety of portfolio weights, fund withdrawal rates, and fund withdrawal periods. The results of the study indicate that, in general, portfolios with a higher equity portion had a greater likelihood of sustaining a given number of withdrawals over this time. Additionally, for much of the 1930 to 2001 period, including international stocks in a withdrawal portfolio decreased the likelihood the withdrawals lasted for a given period. However, the inclusion of international stocks does increase the terminal value of retirement portfolios after withdrawals during the latter part of the period under study. The results of this study can be used for retirement planning since it provides a historical perspective on the success of various withdrawal rates. The results can also be used to determine the value of the portfolio an individual needs at retirement to fund a given level of withdrawals. This can assist in the retirement timing decision.

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Article provided by Emerald Group Publishing in its journal American Journal of Business.

Volume (Year): 20 (2005)
Issue (Month): 1 ()
Pages: 55-62

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Handle: RePEc:eme:ajbpps:v:20:y:2005:i:1:p:55-62
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  1. William F. Sharpe, 1964. "Capital Asset Prices: A Theory Of Market Equilibrium Under Conditions Of Risk," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 19(3), pages 425-442, 09.
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