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Can you run a SWP from mutual funds when you are retired?


04 Sep 2022 - Contact Sayan Sircar
7 mins read

This article shows the maximum withdrawal in SWP form that you can take out from a retirement portfolio to make it last 30 years.

Can you run a SWP from mutual funds when you are retired?

Table of Contents

This article is a part of our detailed article series on Safe Withdrawal Rates. Ensure you have read the other parts here:

Defining SIP, SWP and STP

SIP SWP and STP

All of these are standing instructions that get executed as per a schedule you specify:

  • Systematic Investment Plan (SIP): Money from a bank account is invested into a mutual fund, typically once a month
  • Systematic Transfer Plan (SIP): Units from a mutual fund are redeemed to invest in another mutual fund of the same AMC
  • Systematic Withdrawal Plan (SWP): This is the reverse of the SIP. You sell the units from a mutual fund to send money to a bank account

In this article, we will see if you can have an SWP during retirement to fund in-retirement expenses. Here the success criterion is:

  • being able to keep up with inflation. We will assume 7% inflation during retirement. At this rate, costs double in around ten years.
  • not to run out of money before dying. We will assume 30 years in retirement

There should be multiple other income sources in a retirement portfolio like a pension plan, SCSS, PMVVY, Post Office MIS, RBI bonds or bank FD. We will see how much of the additional income can be funded via SWP and what the minimum return should be expected from the fund(s) from which the SWP is running.

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Worked out example

We will assume that the first year’s withdrawal to be a value between 1% and 5%. The withdrawal amount will be increased by inflation every year. As a practical example, we will take

  • starting portfolio of one crore
  • ₹2.5 lakhs expense in year one; 2.5 * 1.07 = ₹2.675 lakhs expense in year two etc.
  • since SWP is a standing instruction, we will edit the withdrawal amount in the mutual fund portal once a year to adjust for inflation
Start ₹ 1,00,00,000
Withdrawals ⬇️
Year 1 ₹ 2,50,000
Year 2 ₹ 2,67,500
Year 3 ₹ 2,86,225
Year 4 ₹ 3,06,261
Year 5 ₹ 3,27,699

Astute readers will notice that this 2.5 lakhs out of one crore withdrawal increasing at inflation is equivalent to a 2.5% safe withdrawal rate (SWR) and the starting corpus is 1/2.5% = 40x expenses.

We see that a 5% return from the corpus, post-tax, is sufficient to fund the withdrawals for 30 years.

Year Withdrawal Portfolio value*
Year 1 ₹ 2,50,000 ₹ 1,02,37,500
Year 2 ₹ 2,67,500 ₹ 1,04,68,500
Year 3 ₹ 2,86,225 ₹ 1,06,91,389
Year 4 ₹ 3,06,261 ₹ 1,09,04,384
Year 5 ₹ 3,27,699 ₹ 1,11,05,520
Year 6 ₹ 3,50,638 ₹ 1,12,92,626
Year 7 ₹ 3,75,183 ₹ 1,14,63,315
Year 8 ₹ 4,01,445 ₹ 1,16,14,964
Year 9 ₹ 4,29,547 ₹ 1,17,44,688
Year 10 ₹ 4,59,615 ₹ 1,18,49,327
Year 11 ₹ 4,91,788 ₹ 1,19,25,416
Year 12 ₹ 5,26,213 ₹ 1,19,69,163
Year 13 ₹ 5,63,048 ₹ 1,19,76,421
Year 14 ₹ 6,02,461 ₹ 1,19,42,658
Year 15 ₹ 6,44,634 ₹ 1,18,62,925
Year 16 ₹ 6,89,758 ₹ 1,17,31,826
Year 17 ₹ 7,38,041 ₹ 1,15,43,474
Year 18 ₹ 7,89,704 ₹ 1,12,91,459
Year 19 ₹ 8,44,983 ₹ 1,09,68,799
Year 20 ₹ 9,04,132 ₹ 1,05,67,901
Year 21 ₹ 9,67,421 ₹ 1,00,80,504
Year 22 ₹ 10,35,141 ₹ 94,97,631
Year 23 ₹ 11,07,600 ₹ 88,09,532
Year 24 ₹ 11,85,132 ₹ 80,05,620
Year 25 ₹ 12,68,092 ₹ 70,74,405
Year 26 ₹ 13,56,858 ₹ 60,03,424
Year 27 ₹ 14,51,838 ₹ 47,79,165
Year 28 ₹ 15,53,467 ₹ 33,86,983
Year 29 ₹ 16,62,210 ₹ 18,11,012
Year 30 ₹ 17,78,564 ₹ 34,070
  • at the end of the year

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Minimum returns for a 30-year SWP

In the table below, we have summarized the returns you need for a 30-year SWP.

SWR Minimum Return
2.0% 3.6%
2.5% 5.0%
3.0% 6.3%
3.5% 7.4%
4.0% 8.5%
4.5% 9.4%
5.0% 10.3%

This table shows that if you are planning to withdraw in SWP form, then you cannot withdraw more than the rate in the SWR column.

Readers should note that these returns are post-tax and beyond 6% will not be guaranteed. We will provide a few options for each case for investing the retirement corpus. Your SWR will be slightly lower than half in each case.

In a future article, we will consider those cases where the minimum return exceeds 6%. It is not possible to get a guaranteed return beyond these values.

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This post titled Can you run a SWP from mutual funds when you are retired? first appeared on 04 Sep 2022 at https://arthgyaan.com


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