Sunday, March 4, 2012

New Bill Bengen Interview

Bill Bengen was recently interviewed by Dave Carpenter of the Associated Press. It is great to see him getting the credit for his contributions to retirement planning, which I summarized recently with my "William Bengen's SAFEMAX" blog entry. This is the fourth interview with him that I've seen since December.

The interview mentions that his safe withdrawal rate is 4.5% instead of 4%. I only reviewed his initial article. He later updated his recommendations to 4.5% by adding small-cap stocks to the portfolio mix.

The interview contains some pretty good advice, though I do worry about the sustainability of 4% in recent years, and I am still not entirely sure what he means about actively managing one's portfolio. It's probably better to stick with one's plans (to rebalance within bands or at calendar dates, or to even follow some pre-decided asset allocation formula based on some market conditions), because it is altogether too easy to start making costly behavioral mistakes when moving your asset allocation around all willy-nilly.