US Small Cap Value: 4% withdrawal simulation

Last Update: 31 May 2024

You decided on a 4% withdrawal strategy and invested in the US Small Cap Value asset class: how likely, so far, your investment would have been enough for your retirement?.

In this post, we will simulate different retirement timeframes and check the sustainability of the withdrawal rate, using actual historical series.

Key Points

You invested in the US Small Cap Value asset class.

With a 4% withdrawal strategy, you would have lived on your investiment for 30 years in the 99.19% of cases, and for 50 years in the 95.01% of cases.

Worst case scenario so far, over a 30-year time horizon, you could have withdrawn 3.118% of your initial capital each year, kept withdrawing all the time (adjusting for inflation), and you wouldn't have run out of money before 30 years.

Success Rate of a 4% Withdrawal Strategy

Let's calculate the success rate of a 4% Withdrawal Strategy, on the US Small Cap Value asset class. Would you have also saved a portion of your invested capital, at the end of your retirement?

As usual, the withdrawal is expressed as a yearly rate and refers to the initial capital. After that, the withdrawal amount is monthly adjusted for inflation.

Methodology and Definitions
The algorithm calculates the chance of success of a initial withdrawal rate, whose amount in dollars is adjusted monthly for inflation. The algorithm tries a retirement simulation, starting at every possible month in the given period.
For instance, assuming a 20 years retirement, the algorithm will cover each 20 year timeframe starting at every possible month in the given period between the start and end month.

Here's how simulations work (each simulation is based on actual asset class returns, in US dollars):
  • At the beginning, you start with a certain amount of money invested in the portfolio (i.e. the initial invested capital).
  • Each month, money is withdrawn from the portfolio. The withdrawal rate is calculated based on the initial withdrawn, annualized.
  • Each month, portfolio value is updated, based on the asset classes returns (dividends are supposed to be reinvested).
  • Each month, portfolio is rebalanced, to reset to the original weight of the assets (applicable only if portfolio contains at least 2 assets).
  • Each month, the withdrawal is adjusted for inflation (US Inflation is used for simulation).
The Withdrawal Rates calculated here are annualized and refer to the initial capital (not the current!). The first month withdrawal is 1/12 of that annualized withdrawal and it's adjusted for inflation for each subsequent month.

The Perpetual Withdrawal Rate (PWR) is the percentage of the initial portfolio balance that can be withdrawn at the beginning of each month with inflation adjustment, preserving the original invested capital, adjusted for inflation too.

The Safe Withdrawal Rate (SWR) is the percentage of the initial portfolio balance that can be withdrawn at the beginning of each month with inflation adjustment, without the portfolio running out of money.

Learn more about Withdrawal Rate simulation
Data Sources and Credits

We are calculating the success rate over all the past N-year timeframes, on actual historical data, also focusing on how much capital (inflation adjusted) will remain after the retirement.

Period: Jan 1871 - May 2024
Swipe left to see all data
4%
Withdrawal Rate
% Success
10 Years 20 Years 30 Years 40 Years 50 Years 60 Years 70 Years 80 Years
Success Rate (%)
At least 0% Preserved Capital
100.00
99.69
99.19
97.06
95.01
94.21
93.01
92.06
Fail Rate(%)
0.00
0.31
0.81
2.94
4.99
5.79
6.99
7.94
Preserved Capital (infl. adj.) % Success, on % Preserved Capital
At least 25%
99.77
98.88
96.42
95.15
94.61
93.85
93.01
91.95
At least 50%
96.75
94.88
93.32
92.73
94.04
93.67
92.81
91.84
At least 75%
91.06
90.51
91.57
91.85
93.40
93.58
92.81
91.84
At least 100%
80.72
87.27
88.66
90.31
92.51
93.14
92.71
91.84
Legend: Min% of Protected Capital
Min 0%
Min 25%
Min 50%
Min 75%
Min 100%
Period: Jun 1924 - May 2024
Swipe left to see all data
4%
Withdrawal Rate
% Success
10 Years 20 Years 30 Years 40 Years 50 Years 60 Years 70 Years 80 Years
Success Rate (%)
At least 0% Preserved Capital
100.00
99.48
98.69
98.47
98.17
97.71
96.95
95.44
Fail Rate(%)
0.00
0.52
1.31
1.53
1.83
2.29
3.05
4.56
Preserved Capital (infl. adj.) % Success, on % Preserved Capital
At least 25%
99.63
98.86
98.69
98.47
98.17
97.71
96.95
95.44
At least 50%
97.87
98.13
98.69
98.47
98.17
97.71
96.95
95.44
At least 75%
94.73
97.09
98.45
98.47
98.17
97.71
96.95
95.44
At least 100%
87.60
96.57
97.98
98.47
98.17
97.71
96.95
95.44
Legend: Min% of Protected Capital
Min 0%
Min 25%
Min 50%
Min 75%
Min 100%
Period: Jun 1974 - May 2024
Swipe left to see all data
4%
Withdrawal Rate
% Success
10 Years 20 Years 30 Years
Success Rate (%)
At least 0% Preserved Capital
100.00
100.00
100.00
Fail Rate(%)
0.00
0.00
0.00
Preserved Capital (infl. adj.) % Success, on % Preserved Capital
At least 25%
100.00
100.00
100.00
At least 50%
100.00
100.00
100.00
At least 75%
100.00
100.00
100.00
At least 100%
95.22
100.00
100.00
Legend: Min% of Protected Capital
Min 0%
Min 25%
Min 50%
Min 75%
Min 100%
Simulations are calculated with actual returns of US Small Cap Value Asset Class | Preserved capital and withdrawals are considered adjusted for inflation | Withdrawals happen monthly | Performances are calculated in USD dollars, considering reinvestment of dividends when applicable | Inflation is updated at May 2024

4% vs Perpetual/Safe Withdrawal Rates

Let's compare a 4% withdrawal with the Safe and Perpetual Withdrawal Rates, over different timeframes.

In the table below, the guaranteed thresholds of Success/Preserved Capital are highlighted in green, elsewhere in red. To focus on a specific timeframe for this portfolio, click on the links in the table.

Period: Jan 1871 - May 2024
Period: Jun 1924 - May 2024
Period: Jun 1974 - May 2024
Swipe left to see all data
PWR (%) - Perpetual Withdrawal Rate
SWR (%) - Safe Withdrawal Rate
Preserved Capital (Infl.Adj) 100% 75% 50% 25% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0%
Success Rate 100% 100% 100% 100% 100% 95% 90% 80% 50%
Timeframes 10 Years
Worst Period (from)
0.000
Jun 1908
0.000
Jun 1910
1.421
Jul 1911
3.170
Sep 1929
4.917
Sep 1929
8.611 9.902 11.373 14.710
20 Years
Worst Period (from)
0.000
May 1901
0.000
Jun 1912
0.898
Jul 1912
2.920
Sep 1929
3.380
Sep 1929
5.550 5.959 7.581 9.942
30 Years
Worst Period (from)
0.000
Jun 1902
0.620
Jun 1902
1.970
Jun 1902
3.044
Sep 1929
3.118
Sep 1929
4.523 4.928 6.200 8.860
40 Years
Worst Period (from)
2.229
Jun 1892
2.958
Jun 1892
3.010
Sep 1929
3.034
Sep 1929
3.058
Sep 1929
4.131 4.513 5.479 8.049
50 Years
Worst Period (from)
2.972
Sep 1929
2.985
Sep 1929
2.999
Sep 1929
3.013
Sep 1929
3.027
Sep 1929
4.000 4.305 5.114 7.452
60 Years
Worst Period (from)
3.004
Sep 1929
3.007
Sep 1929
3.011
Sep 1929
3.014
Sep 1929
3.017
Sep 1929
3.950 4.219 4.929 7.190
70 Years
Worst Period (from)
3.009
Sep 1929
3.011
Sep 1929
3.012
Sep 1929
3.013
Sep 1929
3.014
Sep 1929
3.896 4.157 4.787 6.428
80 Years
Worst Period (from)
3.010
Sep 1929
3.011
Sep 1929
3.012
Sep 1929
3.012
Sep 1929
3.013
Sep 1929
3.851 4.058 4.631 5.970
Legend:
SWR 100% Success
95% Success
90% Success
PWR 100% Capital Protection
75%
50% Protection
25%
Swipe left to see all data
PWR (%) - Perpetual Withdrawal Rate
SWR (%) - Safe Withdrawal Rate
Preserved Capital (Infl.Adj) 100% 75% 50% 25% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0%
Success Rate 100% 100% 100% 100% 100% 95% 90% 80% 50%
Timeframes 10 Years
Worst Period (from)
0.000
Apr 1928
0.000
Sep 1929
1.423
Sep 1929
3.170
Sep 1929
4.917
Sep 1929
8.640 10.073 11.973 15.732
20 Years
Worst Period (from)
1.538
Sep 1929
1.999
Sep 1929
2.459
Sep 1929
2.920
Sep 1929
3.380
Sep 1929
5.972 7.342 8.421 11.262
30 Years
Worst Period (from)
2.822
Sep 1929
2.896
Sep 1929
2.970
Sep 1929
3.044
Sep 1929
3.118
Sep 1929
5.427 6.590 8.009 10.615
40 Years
Worst Period (from)
2.963
Sep 1929
2.986
Sep 1929
3.010
Sep 1929
3.034
Sep 1929
3.058
Sep 1929
5.096 6.187 7.457 10.390
50 Years
Worst Period (from)
2.972
Sep 1929
2.985
Sep 1929
2.999
Sep 1929
3.013
Sep 1929
3.027
Sep 1929
4.827 5.753 7.077 9.548
60 Years
Worst Period (from)
3.004
Sep 1929
3.007
Sep 1929
3.011
Sep 1929
3.014
Sep 1929
3.017
Sep 1929
4.518 5.764 7.234 10.202
70 Years
Worst Period (from)
3.009
Sep 1929
3.011
Sep 1929
3.012
Sep 1929
3.013
Sep 1929
3.014
Sep 1929
4.272 5.074 6.621 10.609
80 Years
Worst Period (from)
3.010
Sep 1929
3.011
Sep 1929
3.012
Sep 1929
3.012
Sep 1929
3.013
Sep 1929
4.071 4.512 5.756 8.902
Legend:
SWR 100% Success
95% Success
90% Success
PWR 100% Capital Protection
75%
50% Protection
25%
Swipe left to see all data
PWR (%) - Perpetual Withdrawal Rate
SWR (%) - Safe Withdrawal Rate
Preserved Capital (Infl.Adj) 100% 75% 50% 25% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0%
Success Rate 100% 100% 100% 100% 100% 95% 90% 80% 50%
Timeframes 10 Years
Worst Period (from)
1.602
Mar 1999
4.858
Feb 2006
6.617
Jun 2007
8.051
Jun 2007
9.485
Jun 2007
10.841 11.938 13.011 16.209
20 Years
Worst Period (from)
5.094
May 2002
5.662
May 2002
6.173
May 1998
6.676
May 1998
7.179
May 1998
8.098 8.652 9.652 11.859
30 Years
Worst Period (from)
7.450
Sep 1987
7.632
Sep 1987
7.814
Sep 1987
7.996
Sep 1987
8.178
Sep 1987
8.860 9.332 9.871 11.922
Legend:
SWR 100% Success
95% Success
90% Success
PWR 100% Capital Protection
75%
50% Protection
25%
Simulations are calculated with actual returns of US Small Cap Value Asset Class | Preserved capital and withdrawals are considered adjusted for inflation | Withdrawals happen monthly | Performances are calculated in USD dollars, considering reinvestment of dividends when applicable | Inflation is updated at May 2024

Related Pages

Asset Class Main Page:
US Small Cap Value Asset Class

For the US Small Cap Value Asset Class, we have prepared a report for each available timeframe:
10-Year    20-Year    30-Year    40-Year    50-Year    60-Year    70-Year    80-Year   

if you want to learn more about the statistics of a specific withdrawal rate, we suggest these in particular:
2%    2.5%    3%    3.5%    4%    4.5%    5%   

Website Homepage:
BestRetirementPortfolio.com