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...My original point was that 5% cashout as a rule of thunb may not always work...
Not if you are avoiding dipping into last year's principal. However, that concept has a fallacy in that last year's principal may have increased beyond your draw. So, in effect, you are not dipping into last year's principal, but actually into last year's gains, or perhaps the year's before.

I am working on a more complex model which uses year to year return and the CPI for inflation. Don't forget to include S&P dividends in the returns. This is the only model that has any validity in determining what a valid cashout % is. This work has already been done and posted on this board in the last year. The cashout % will differ whether you use the S&P or DOW or Foolish Four portfolios, since each has differing returns and volatility from year-to-year.

If you are looking to provide a steady, inflation-adjusted draw for retirement, please consider the 'total return' portfolio I mention in message #13041. Once you determine a draw amount based on a percentage of your initial investment, the amount is changed yearly only to account for inflation. By cashing in CDs during down markets, you avoid dipping into stocks when they are most vulnerable.

Zev
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