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Your conservatism is awfully Wise.

But, thank you for responding to my vent. As far as adding five years or so to one's estimate of life, it doesn't change things that significantly. I am retired, aged 63 and use the "average forecasted" life expectancy of 85--not what was the experienced life span of an earlier generation. If I change the estimate to 90, the withdrawal does not change that much.

Using history (cliches about repeating it, etc. aside) is useful only to see how close you have come to your plan. Any deviation of any significance is then used to adjust your plan. To use history otherwise (to be conservative and wait for Chicken Little to keep us informed)is to really make the grand mistake. Use forecasted yields, life expectancy, and inflationary rates and you will do better than include all events that happened in the past, but are unlikely to happen.

You do not drive your car by looking out the rear view mirror, but use the information to monitor how you have done and monitor any changed conditions that might influence your near term action relative to your plan. The most significant information is out the windshield, unless of course, you are going backwards.

Fool on!
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