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Greetings, Abbyhill, and welcome. You asked:

<<All I keep reading is info about making a plan for retirement down the road 30 or so years. Unfortunately when I still had 30 years to go, I invested in utilities (which did well, by the way) and real estate which I improved with cashed in stocks, some inheritance, etc. Now I have sold my last "big" house, taken a big tax bite and am left with about 200k to invest for income from here on out. We are retired and have about 1500 in ss and pension each month, but need a plan for income for the next 15 years. Can the F Four work if we take monthly dividends to live on and still expect growth for the future? Thanks.>>

Yes, to a degree it can. Really, though, you're asking how much you can take from your portfolio while protecting the purchasing power of your income and the lifetime of your portfolio. That's a tricky issue that depends on how much income you need. In general, various studies have shown that a withdrawal rate of from 4% to 6% is about the maximum that can be taken to ensure the money lasts for your lifetime. There is no pat answer because it's a balancing act that's dependent on how much you need, your return, your allocation, and whether you intend to invade principal or not.

For some of the issues involved and a look at some actual numbers, you may want to read the series of 23 posts on this board starting at . They will give you much food for thought.


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