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First of all I am an newbie to this board. I may be forced into an early retirement next year, though it's not what I want it may come to pass anyway. I given some look at retirement calcuators and how much could be withdrawn for life. It seems that 3 to 4% is what's recommended. My question is, if stocks can reasonably be expected to appreciate 10% per year and inflation is roughly 3% or less why couldn't I withdraw say 7.5% per year and still have some appreciation and a margin of safety? Any comments will be greatly appreciated.

Because the 40 year survival rate (using over 125 years of historical data) of a 7.5% withdrawal rate is only 36.2%. This means that in 64 out of 100 40-year periods you would have run out of money.

Had you retired in 1937, you would have run out of money in 1946.

Had you retired in 1973, you would have run out of money in 1980.

If you retire in 2001, you may run out of money eventually as well.

See for an easy to use web based calculator. (and where I got the above numbers from)
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