William P. Bengen
William P. Bengen, 65, is president of fee-only Bengen Financial Services Inc. He is best known for his 1994 research paper “Determining Withdrawal Rates Using Historical Data,” wherein he established the 4% rule for sustainable income withdrawals in retirement over the course of 30 years. In the paper, he modeled a portfolio with a 50/50 split between stocks and intermediate-term Treasuries. His findings formed the foundation for further research on creating sustainable income in retirement, and it continues to be cited in research papers close to 20 years after its original publishing. Mr. Bengen later updated his research in 2004, adding an allocation toward small cap stocks. This allowed him to boost the withdrawal rate to 4.5%.
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