Faculty Publications


Sustainable Withdrawal Rates from Retirement Portfolios: The Historical Evidence on Buffer Zone Strategies

Document Type


Publication Date



This paper evaluates the performance of portfolios that dynamically adjust one’s mix of risky and risk-free assets during retirement based on the performance of risky assets. We analyze these “buffer zone” portfolio decumulation strategies over various time periods from 1926 to 2009. We find that they are generally inferior to a simpler static asset allocation at minimizing longevity risk.