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Jeffrey Merwin
Jeffrey Merwin
Financial Management Network Registered Representative
https://www.fmncc.com/ (949) 455-0300

Jeffrey G. Merwin started with FMN in the rigorous mentorship program and has since become a Registered Representative with FMN Capital Corporation and an Investment Advisor Representative of Financial Management Network. He holds his Series 7 (General Securities Representative Exam) and 66 (Uniform Investment Adviser - Combined State Laws Exam) securities as well as a Life/Disability Insurance License. Jeff graduated from Bentley University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Economics-Finance and a minor in Law.


Jeff is dedicated to having an in-depth understanding of each of his client’s needs and goals. Jeff works with his clients to develop customized strategies that help meet his client’s unique needs in order to maximize cash flow, increase net worth, lower taxes, and ensure their estate plan meets their needs. If you are an individual, family or business owner Jeff can help you achieve your personal, professional, and financial goals. Jeff works with a team of Certified Financial Planner(tm) practitioners and Enrolled Agents to ensure his clients receive expert advice and best-in-class service.

Jeff is originally from Connecticut but has traded in the cold New England winters for sunny California and currently lives in Laguna Niguel. He enjoys the outdoors, is an avid sports fan and likes spending time with friends and family.

Systematic Withdrawals in Retirement

Retirement Read Time: 3 min

Many of us grew up with the concept that making regular, periodic contributions to our retirement account was a sound investment strategy. The idea was that, in a fluctuating market, regularly investing a set amount would enable an individual to buy more shares when prices were low and fewer shares when prices were high.1

Does this mean that taking regular, periodic withdrawals during retirement makes similar good sense?

Actually, it can be quite problematic.

Systematic withdrawals do the precise opposite of systematic investments by selling fewer shares when the price is high and more shares when the price is low. This, in effect, reduces the number of shares that may be able to participate in any subsequent market recovery.

Here's an example.

In the accumulation phase, if a portfolio falls by 25%, it will require approximately a 33% return to get back to its pre-decline value.²

In the distribution phase, if you withdraw 5% of your portfolio for income and suffer the same 25% market decline, you would need to see a 43% market rebound to get back to pre-decline value.²

Sequence of Returns

In the accumulation phase, investors tend to focus on average annual rates of return and less on the sequence of the returns. If you're a buy-and-hold investor, ignoring short-term fluctuations may be a sound long-term approach.

If you are in retirement, however, you absolutely care about the sequence of the annual returns.

For instance, comparable portfolios might deliver the same average annual return over a 20- or 30-year period, but they could have radically different outcomes in terms of account balance and income production. Generally speaking, negative returns in the early years of your retirement can potentially reduce how long your assets can be expected to last.

American writer H.L. Mencken once remarked that "For every complex problem, there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong."

Anticipating a lifetime of withdrawals from a defined asset pool over an indefinite period of time is a complex challenge for which there is no simple solution. Pursuing this challenge can require creative approaches and persistent vigilance.

1. Dollar-cost averaging does not protect against a loss in a declining market or guarantee a profit in a rising market. Dollar-cost averaging is the process of investing a fixed amount of money in an investment vehicle at regular intervals, usually monthly, for an extended period of time regardless of price. Investors should evaluate their financial ability to continue making purchases through periods of declining and rising prices. The return and principal value of stock prices will fluctuate as market conditions change. Shares, when sold, may be worth more or less than their original cost.
2. This is a hypothetical example used for illustrative purposes only. It is not representative of any specific investment or combination of investments.

The content is developed from sources believed to be providing accurate information. The information in this material is not intended as tax or legal advice. It may not be used for the purpose of avoiding any federal tax penalties. Please consult legal or tax professionals for specific information regarding your individual situation. This material was developed and produced by FMG Suite to provide information on a topic that may be of interest. FMG Suite is not affiliated with the named broker-dealer, state- or SEC-registered investment advisory firm. The opinions expressed and material provided are for general information, and should not be considered a solicitation for the purchase or sale of any security. Copyright FMG Suite.

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