I'm not retired yet myself, but was wondering how the retired have managed over the last 10 or so years when the market essentially gained nothing in the first decade of this century.I don't see how anyone who retired in 2000 with what they thought was enough money to live off going forward would have been able to stay in retirement if the market didn't gain any.I'm just curious how any retirees who may have been in this situation have managed over the last decade. I've heard that a lot of retirees had to go back to work at least part time.I retired in 2000 at age 53, near the end of the year. I was fortunate in that as a resident of Silicon Valley, I was well aware of the irrational exuberance of the late 90s and listened to a couple of financial gurus in 2000 who turned out to be right about the market top. I sold 90% of our stock holdings and sat out the recession with the cash earning interest in a Vanguard money market fund until I was fortunate again in getting back into the market very close to the recession's bottom.Since my own stock-picking prowess was not all that great, I went with two managers in late July of 2002, both of whom I'm still with. One is Fisher Investments, which has just managed to match its benchmark (Morgan Stanley World Index) net of fees since my inception. The other manager, Private Management Group, has done much better, generating an internal rate of return of just under 200%, or nearly tripling what I invested with them. We got hit like everyone else by the last recession but didn't sell anything at the bottom. We are not all the way back to our 2007 highs but it's enough. Since DW joined me in taking Social Security early, we live comfortably but far from lavishly on SS plus about a 2% withdrawl from our portfolio. That provides some comfort since a calamity that cuts our portfolio in half would still keep us at the 4% withdrawl rate. When DW joins me on Medicare in a year, our combined health-care savings will come to around $8,000 per year, an added cushion. --fleg
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