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Understanding what your withdrawal rates will be helps you understand how much you will need to save.

I agree wholeheartedly with this statement and would add that getting a better grip on your future expenses goes along with this. My estimate of what size my portfolio needs to be for retirement has gone down as I get a better handle on expenses and nearer retirement. I’ve also used multiple withdrawal rate scenarios to see where I stand, which further reduced the portfolio value needed. My ultimate goal is a SWR of less than 4%, but I should be able to survive with something higher if everything goes as planned. The major effect of this is planning is I’m able to reduce my risk, cutting back from a 12-14% needed return to a 8-10% return until retirement.

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