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those who have a pension actually have the equivalent of a giant nest egg....

I know. My husband's 2 little pensions are very important to us! An extra thousand a month is mighty nice, especially in a state that doesn't tax pension income after age 65.

a person getting a pension is totally different as far a 'income' vs one having only a nest egg (no pension) to live on.

They are different only in that they don;t have to manage this money themselves. The most relaxed retired people I know are those with big pensions.

...the nest egg should grow most of the time until you are 15 years or so into retirement. If not tax deferred, you get to pay the taxes on that growth. ...So......asking me what' percentage' of income is not the same as asking someone on a pension. I have to re-invest a large part of my 'income' just to keep my nest egg in a good condition, yet pay taxes on it.

AS a couple whose taxable accounts are about the same size as total IRAs between us, I know this in spades.

But the fact that you and I and others like us need to save/invest out of this income does not make it not income. It's simply an expense we have that some others do not. Many retirees have other expenses that you & I don't, car loan(s), student loans for their kids, credit card debt. Should those paying off debt not include the income they use to pay it as part of their income? Investment expenses are just that--another expense, not so different in my mind from groceries, gasoline, or taxes. A cost of living. (And BTW, when we reach age 65, our state income taxes will be all but nonexistent as South Carolina doesn't tax Social Security income or pension/annuity/IRA income up to a certain amount. People in other states may have those taxes, but that's an expense they have and I do not. Doesn't change our income.

I can't 'spend it'...You don't seem to have that thought sunk in to your mind.

Not so. We just did our taxes and I had to think about our quarterlies for 2013 to boot, so it's especially on my mind just now.
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