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I'm wondering if anyone leaves a margin of error when deciding to ER. Do you just take 5 years, 20% of your 25x yearly spending, pay the taxes on the hefty withdrawal and dump the cash into an inflation-matching cash investment and that's it?

First of all I don't believe in the "4% rule" since I believe that it is the product of selective backtesting, i.e. datamining. I do, however, have a modest cushion in addition to what I felt I needed to retire comfortably. It helps me sleep better.

Or god forbid you get unexpectedly divorced suddenly after you have long RE and lose over half your assets. No margin of error there would kill you financially.

Hehe. I love my wife but if she left me not only would I lose 1/2 of my assets but I'd jettison 3/4 of my monthly overhead, if you know what I mean. I think I'd be okay financially. <g>

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