Set forth below are some words that Wafe Pfau, Associate Professor of Economics at the National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies in Tokyo, Japan, put recently to the blog entry here titled Everyone in This Field Should Be Urging the Authors of the Studies to Make Corrections:
Perhaps the Trinity study was not meant to be a “safe withdrawal rate” study. The word “safe” does not appear in either the original or updated versions. Perhaps the study was only meant to point out that 6-7% withdrawal rates are not safe. So my list of concerns in my updated blog post is meant to point out what I feel are issues that users of the study must consider before jumping to the conclusion that the study provides information about “safe withdrawal rates” for the future. Though I feel they could be more vocal about this matter, the Trinity authors never really gave any indication that forward looking retirees should treat 4% as safe. It’s up to our interpretation as users of their findings.