The original 4% rule was based on something called the Trinity Study (google it) which back-tested the market for 50 years and figured that was the average you could depend on with a good mix of stocks and bonds. They showed your chances of outliving your portfolio - even at 4% it wasn't 100%, and it depended on your mix. You could even do 7% and have a 50% chance of success with certain mixes.Then, if you want to get depressed google the "Life of Riley" index, which says if you want a SAFE return (insured) you're only looking at 2% (inflation adjusted T-bills and bonds). I give up, I save like crazy, max out my 401Ks and just hope for the best. Might buy a rental or two to hedge my bets, and the occasional lottery ticket so I can dream...I know i do more than most, and do all I can, and that's all I can do. Most folks I know don't even fully retire anymore, they go half-time, to keep insurance. That might be the best we can hope for.
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