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It was 20 years ago today...
Old 10-12-2014, 07:16 PM   #1
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Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 44
It was 20 years ago today...

William P. Bengen's paper appeared in the Journal of Financial Planning

This was the first time a "safe" withdrawal rate of 4% was calculated for a 30 year retiree with a mix of stocks and bonds. The Trinity Study and on-line tools like Firecal that came along later, made it possible for thousands of people to do realistic retirement planning.

I think my first encounter with "4% rule" was when I read an a column in the Dallas Morning News by the financial columnist Scott Burns, or was it in (the now defunct) Worth magazine? He was taking on legendary investor Peter Lynch, manager of Fidelity Magellan Fund, who had said you could withdraw the market average real return of 7% per year.

Happy birthday Bill and thanks!

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Old 10-12-2014, 08:22 PM   #2
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Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 1,508
Quite a guy...he published this study only a year out of grad school, working as a sole practitioner. (And 4 years after getting the CFP certification, according to Wikipedia)

sole practitioner in El Cajon, California,
specializing in investment management.
He received a bachelor of science degree
from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology
in aeronautical engineering, then
joined his family-owned soft-drink franchise
firm in the New York metropolitan
area. After 17 years with the company,
during which he served a tenure as president
and COO, the business was sold. He
and his family moved to southern California,
where he began his financial planning
practice, earning his master's degree in
financial planning in 1993.
No doubt a continuous prosperity, though spendthrift, is preferable to an economy thriftily moral, though lean. Nevertheless, that prosperity would seem more soundly shored if, by a saving grace, more of us had the grace to save.

Life Magazine editorial, 1956
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