Financial Planning Updates

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2014: Patience Pays Off

by Weston Wellington, Dimensional Fund Advisors, January 2014


Forecasters often cite a figure of 8%–10% as a likely outcome for stock market performance in the year ahead, and 2014 was no exception. As sensible as this may sound, it is worth pointing out that over the past 89 years, the S&P 500 Index and its predecessors have never delivered a total return between 8% and 10% in any single calendar year—in every case it has been higher or lower, often by a substantial amount. For example, starting in 1926, there have been 28 years with a gain or a loss in excess of 25%. Investors would do well to expect the unexpected every year.

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Near-Retirees Overestimating Withdrawal Needs

Many preretirees have unrealistic ideas about how much they will be able to withdraw for living expenses after entering retirement.  As retirees shift their focus from accumulating assets to creating an ongoing stream of income, many are not prepared to start planning from a new vantage point. This lack of perspective may explain why, according to a recent survey, many retirees anticipate making annual withdrawals that are too large, and run the risk of outliving their assets.

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