No. of Recommendations: 2
I'm wondering, hocus, if you were given wide latitude to discuss alternative methods to achieve FIRE besides stocks, what alternative methods do you favor?

Catherine:

My view is that there are many routes that work. I don't really have any one approach that I want to talk about myself. I like seeing lots of people come forward with lots of good ideas, and then having the opportunity to offer an idea myself on those threads from time to time when it seems like a good idea.

If your question is, what caused you to start this debate over what sort of topics may be debated on the board, you might want to check out a post called "The Coin Toss," which went up in late June, I believe. That one is the best summary of my position.

The real start of the debate was in May, when I put up a thread called something like "Personalized Safe Withdrawal Rates." My position is that there is no single safe withdrawal rate that applies to all, that the number varies according to your life goals and financial circumstances.

Because of my unusual personal circumstances, I determined that in my case, a zero percent stock allocation was the way to go to obtain an early retirement (I acknowledge that it is rare for a zero allocation to be the right answer). With stock prices falling and the rates paid on ibonds falling, I believe that a case can now be made that I should have a small percentage of my assets in stocks. To determine whether that is the case or not, I would like to be able to compare the safe withdrawal rate for stocks with the safe withdrawal rate for ibonds, and see which is higher, and by how much.

It was the suggestion that the safe wtihdrawal rate for stocks might be some number lower than the 4 percent figure advertised by intercst that caused all heck to break out. I'm still interested in knowing the real safe withdrawal rates for the various asset classes. I hope that someday this board will debate the issue. If not, I hope someday to be able to examine the question at some other venue.
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