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Author: akck Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool CAPS All Star Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 56822  
Subject: Re: Hocus Foil Wade Pfau in the WSJ Date: 3/8/2013 12:43 PM
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All of these guys miss the point. The 4% rule gives you a guideline to use in computing how much you have to save to retire. The rule was actually developed as much because it provided a spending model and investment model that could be rationalized/justified and be simulated. I doubt very many people actually live by a 4% withdrawal rule. Things happen. You need a new car one year. You have to paint the house one year. You have to replace the roofing one year . . . You spend what you need to spend to be comfortable. If you planned wisely, that amount typically falls around 4% or less. But you don't let it rain in your living room if fixing the roof puts you at 4.05% this year and you don't blow money just to get your spending up to 4%.

I guess, according to "experts," my plan is doomed to failure because I'll be taking large initial withdrawals from my retirement funds. As other sources of income come online, there will be a point where projected income will exceed projected expenses for 20+ years. This should make my average withdrawal less than 4%, depending on where my portfolio is at retirement (currently, it would be <3% average WR).

What these studies don't do, is take into consideration that people will vary their lifestyle to fit their income. My wife was concerned about it, so I showed her where we could cut back on expenses if needed. There are also contingency expenses which will likely not get spent every year (i.e., medical, can postpone some elective work, plus Medicare premiums are in the budget, but won't be used for 5-7 years).

We've also completed major home projects (roof, bathroom remodel, outside paint), in anticipation of retirement. We won't have to face most of them again, unless we move and even then, we'll just pick a house not needing major maintenance.
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