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The only certain thing in life is....we are all going to die. The only uncertain thing about our death is....when it's going to happen!!! That's why deciding how much to withdraw during retirement is a highly personal and difficult decision. Some people's fear of running out of money during retirement is great, other's want to enjoy the money while they're young and have good health.

But what adds to the difficulity, not only do we have to be concerned with getting a decent return on our investments, but also the insidious impact of inflation and taxes in the years ahead.

You should never underestimate the impact of inflation. The average cost of a car 20 years ago was about $8,000. Today, the average cost of a car is roughly $22,000 (if you're lucky). In other words, the average cost of a car has almost tripled in 20 years. Assuming the past 20 years is a good indicator of the next 20 years, we can assume the car that sells for $22,000 today, is going to roughly triple, to around $60,000, in 20 years. And the cost of a pair of shoes, a Big Mac, green fees, etc. could triple as well.

So, most retirees are not just hedging for the possibility of living to a ripe old age, but also being able to pay for and enjoy some of the finer things life will have to offer in the years to come.

And then when you factor in the vagaries of the stock market.....consider that between 1968 and 1982, the stock market averaged around 3% a year....I think that's why most people tend to hope for the best but prepare for the worst.

Good Luck!

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