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The "safe" amount to withdraw from a retirement account, 3-4%, is based on a study known as the "Trinity Study" which back-tests the stock market from today through the great Depression, and posits various chances of success based on various percentages of stocks vs. bonds invested, and various withdrawl rates. A chart at the bottom of this page lays it out in very simple terms:

http://wpfau.blogspot.com/2010/10/trinity-study-retirement-w...

If you have no heirs to leave money to, you could also get a higher guaranteed return through (and I know this is a dirty word) a guaranteed annunity, more like 6% guaranteed for your lifetime. They get to keep the balance when you kick the bucket, though. A good deal if you plan to live a long, long time, bad if you don't.

So right now you're looking at can you two live on $40K a year..plus social security....based on how you've invested your million, ten years hence that may go up a bit or just keep pace with inflation. Also - based on how you've invested - is that tax-free income or taxed?? (i.e. Roth IRAs or 401K's or tax-free munis?). It might not hurt to take a meeting with a financial planner - or two or three - and see what they suggest for someone on your time horizon. Avoid those selling their own products, get one who's independant (I think Raymond James are independant) I'd recommend going to a few, though, and making NO decisions until you find one you like. See if they're all heading in the same direction, as well. And check back here before you sign any paperwork.

Best of luck and happy days ahead!

SG
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