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While I can understand your decision to eliminate the retiree portfolios, there is substantial validity to your concepts and discussion. I have been using a variation of your approach for several years, ever since I ran into a discussion which suggested setting aside sufficient cash/MM or bonds funds to cover income needs during a two-to-three year negative equities market.
Inasmuch as the S&P500 has only been down twice in the past 10 years and four times in the past 25 (I haven't given up on 2000 yet), one could even shade this down to one-to-two years of income needs without a very substantial level of risk. This makes more sense to me than any arbitrary percentage. Obviously, everyone needs to evaluate their personal objectives and tolerance for risk and adjust accordingly.
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