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I have heard about a 5% rate that is not fixed. That is, it is safe to withdraw 5% of your portfolio each year as long as it is always 5%--you take less in years when your portfolio is down and more when it is up. Your portfolio should survive 30 years under the worst of conditions if you do it this way.

The worst case (with the S&P500 and commercial paper) was a disaster, historically. The income fell to 2.3% or 2.4% or so (plus inflation) around Year 20--again, worst case only.

Have fun.

John Walter Russell
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