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I just finished reading all about how much to take out for retirement and conclude it is only academic fodder. What is the big deal? The only thing you have to do is put variables into a future value of an annuity that you can do in Excel. The only secret is to know how long you will live. Otherwise, using average figures will give you an idea of what you can take out and die broke.

For those who wish to leave principal for their heirs, look for and read the book on dying broke.

One other point that bugs me in all these studies is that it assumes that as one ages, money needs are constant. I really do not think that I will spend as much money (yes, include inflation and medicines) when I am in my 80's as I need now in my 60's. Most retirees with any sustainable investment portfolio will probably have a paid up mortgage. What prices are going to rise that would wipe out a portfolio and send me into poverty? Think about what you spend money on. How much of your budget is food? As you age you will eat less. How much for clothing? As you retire you think less about clothes. See what I mean?

Studies that include any data older than 10 years are analagous to trying to drive one's car by only looking at the rear view mirror! The ability to forecast alternatives and adjust to changing scenarios is unlike anything that existed over 10 years ago for the average person.
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