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Old 07-15-2016, 12:01 PM   #101
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My conclusion after reading this thread is that most people (at least those willing to share their WR) are quite conservative in their withdrawals. Either your portfolios are fairly small and the WR not that material to your overall spending, or you are planning on leaving a large legacy by foregoing spending now?
My portfolio is indeed rather small. The WR actually is material to my overall spending in that it constitutes 95% or more of it (and I sure would like a bit more money to spend), but it's more important to me to attempt to conserve my portfolio as much as possible in the early years of ER.

I'm something of an outlier here, in both my NW, spending level, and overall lifestyle. I began withdrawals 5 years ago. At that point, my portfolio, which constitutes my entire NW (I don't own any property) was just 600K. (I have previously stated it was 640K, but a quick check of the facts reveals that it was lower than my memory indicates.) Ever since then, I have been withdrawing $15,600/year, which represents 2.6% of the starting portfolio value. The portfolio now stands at 780K, so those same withdrawals represent 2% if I were to "reset" and start again.

Early SS comes online for me in 10 years, and I could use that to justify withdrawing more from the portfolio now, but due to the relatively low portfolio value, I'm keeping myself disciplined for the time being. I'm a renter, enjoying fantastically low rent in a high COL area, and it's very possible that my housing expenses will go up quite significantly in the future. This is one big reason I'm doing all I can to ensure a higher income in the future. That, and the fact that I'd like to buy a Chinook or a Lazy Daze to live in

Hope that explains, and that I didn't ramble too much. My situation is not the norm for folks here, but perhaps my presence will help paint a broader overall picture of the many different situations that ER folk find themselves in.
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Old 07-15-2016, 12:21 PM   #102
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You have no interest in a legacy, yet that will very likely be the case. I guess you have thought a bit about where it might go?
Absolutely!
We have a DAF with regularly scheduled annual disbursements, and beyond a few specific bequests the bulk of it will go there.

Also a possibility of using one or more charitable remainder trusts at some later time, just for simplicity.
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Old 07-15-2016, 12:31 PM   #103
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I think the point of the SWR studies and projections like FireCalc are to help put a foundation on what a reasonable withdrawal rate would be, given your assets in stocks and bonds. I don't see how FireCalc or other calculators like this could give an answer when you have other side business or rental income. These have to be handled separately...
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I quite agree that FireCalc is not meant to address alternative investments such as real estate. Its foundation is the US equity and bond markets. In fact, FireCalc probably shouldn't be relied upon for non-US investors, because other markets have behaved differently over time. However, income producing real estate is an investment, so I include my it as part of my diversified investment portfolio.
Thanks. I agree 100%. Although my question didn't really have anything to do with FIRECalc per se. Rather it was was prompted by prior posts suggesting that rental income (and associated value) should be included in the WR calculation same as dividends, interest, and CGs. No one took issue with that, so I wondered if my method was incorrect.

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...In my narrow view money from income streams like SS or a pension would not count as withdraw from assets (thus withdraw rate). However, rents, interest, dividends and capital gains that are used for living expenses (not reinvested) would be considered in the withdraw rate...
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Old 07-15-2016, 12:43 PM   #104
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OK, to be on the same page (sort of) with you guys, here it is;

(Spending - SS income) / net worth = 1.7%
Definitely closer. I think most folks here would use the total of their investable assets instead of their net worth. At least those using FireCalc for a long term view of possible outcomes for their portfolio.
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Old 07-15-2016, 12:52 PM   #105
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For net worth I use all the accounts and the value of the house but no personal property so it is a "real number"
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Old 07-15-2016, 01:27 PM   #106
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For net worth I use all the accounts and the value of the house but no personal property so it is a "real number"
Exclude the house and you'll be on the same page. As Hermit said, use investable assets, not net worth.
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Old 07-15-2016, 01:40 PM   #107
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With house excluded, 1.9%
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Old 07-15-2016, 01:45 PM   #108
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Thanks. I agree 100%. Although my question didn't really have anything to do with FIRECalc per se. Rather it was was prompted by prior posts suggesting that rental income (and associated value) should be included in the WR calculation same as dividends, interest, and CGs. No one took issue with that, so I wondered if my method was incorrect.
No, I don't think rental income should be included. Real estate is not modeled in any of the SWR studies. The SWR studies focus on liquid investments alone that can be withdrawn from and rebalanced - stocks, bonds, cash. Not illiquid investments like real estate that can't be withdrawn from or rebalanced.

The appropriate way to treat rental income, IMO, would be to just acknowledge it as an income stream, like SS. When you calculate the WR, you subtract income from other sources such as SS, pension, and rental income, and what remains is what needs to be supported by your retirement portfolio. Once you sell a rental property and invest the proceeds in the more liquid assets in your retirement portfolio, then the game changes.
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Old 07-15-2016, 02:06 PM   #109
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Dear RobbieB


Occam's razor (or Ockham's razor) is a principle from philosophy. Suppose there exist two explanations for an occurrence. In this case the simpler one is usually better. Another way of saying it is that the more assumptions you have to make, the more unlikely an explanation is.


Using this principle, I think you are correct in your thinking. Thank You
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Old 07-15-2016, 02:21 PM   #110
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Thanks!

Yes, for the purpose of the calculators, I can see why things have to have a specific meaning for the application to work.

In real life it doesn't matter. My fully paid off house is an asset, it's worth dough and I don't have to pay rent. This makes my WD number much better and it's real too, I spend less (no rent) and it's worth something (I can reverse mortgage if times get tough) or sell it.

But then I haven't drawn the line as close as lots of people here either, I just like to see how much more fun I can have and still be "safe"
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Actual Withdraw Rates
Old 07-15-2016, 02:35 PM   #111
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Actual Withdraw Rates

I'm only 7.5 months into my first year retired. It's looking like a SWR of 3.4% this year. Only counting investible assets. Don't know if we will spend it all or not.


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Old 07-15-2016, 02:35 PM   #112
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but the paid off house is an expense not income . it still costs money . reducing expenses improves existing cash flow the same as reducing any expense .

there is nothing special about it when it comes to these calculations .
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Old 07-15-2016, 02:49 PM   #113
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No, I don't think rental income should be included. Real estate is not modeled in any of the SWR studies. The SWR studies focus on liquid investments alone that can be withdrawn from and rebalanced - stocks, bonds, cash. Not illiquid investments like real estate that can't be withdrawn from or rebalanced.

The appropriate way to treat rental income, IMO, would be to just acknowledge it as an income stream, like SS. When you calculate the WR, you subtract income from other sources such as SS, pension, and rental income, and what remains is what needs to be supported by your retirement portfolio. Once you sell a rental property and invest the proceeds in the more liquid assets in your retirement portfolio, then the game changes.
I agree. Thanks for confirming. I was pretty confident that was the right answer.
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Old 07-15-2016, 03:13 PM   #114
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Absolutely!
We have a DAF with regularly scheduled annual disbursements, and beyond a few specific bequests the bulk of it will go there.

Also a possibility of using one or more charitable remainder trusts at some later time, just for simplicity.
Right I would have called that a legacy but really just semantics I guess.
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Old 07-15-2016, 03:25 PM   #115
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I did not include the income from our rental. Nor did I include the rental unit as an asset in the portfolio. (Nor our primary home - which is part of the same lot - and can't be separated.)

For WR - I used:

Money taken from investments in that calendar year. (Aka withdrawals.)
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Investable assets (brokerage accounts).


My spending is higher than my WR. That's because DH is on SS and we have rental income. The withdrawals from investments is about 50% of our spending.

I did not include the kids 529's, either - since they are not available for retirement. That said - if we run out of money in our 90's... I'll be reminding the kids they "owe" us. LOL.
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Old 07-15-2016, 03:41 PM   #116
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Right I would have called that a legacy but really just semantics I guess.
Come to think of it, I suppose you're right. I had it in mind that "legacy" meant bequeathing assets to descendants, but that's really too narrow a definition. Thanks for the clarification.
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Old 07-15-2016, 04:07 PM   #117
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I think the point of the SWR studies and projections like FireCalc are to help put a foundation on what a reasonable withdrawal rate would be, given your assets in stocks and bonds. I don't see how FireCalc or other calculators like this could give an answer when you have other side business or rental income. These have to be handled separately.

For example, if you know or can estimate, what your rental income is, vacancy rate, upkeep expenses, mortgages, etc, then you can estimate how much you can safely spend from this income...
Absolutely. FIRECalc allows you to input extra income from SS, pension, or rental receipts if you wish.

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I quite agree that FireCalc is not meant to address alternative investments such as real estate. Its foundation is the US equity and bond markets. In fact, FireCalc probably shouldn't be relied upon for non-US investors, because other markets have behaved differently over time...
Absolutely true too. And even in the US, we have had numerous discussions on whether the US economy in the next 30 or 40 years will be like the past years that FIRCalc draws on for its statistics.
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Old 07-15-2016, 04:10 PM   #118
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whether the US economy in the next 30 or 40 years will be like the past years that FIRCalc draws on for its statistics.
Wait a minute. Are you saying past performance is no guarantee of future results?

Preposterous!
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Old 07-15-2016, 04:23 PM   #119
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I agree. Thanks for confirming. I was pretty confident that was the right answer.
Ok... so if we consider rental income as an income stream, then what was your WR compared to you planned WR as the OP demonstrated in his post.

Whether rental income is seen as investment income or not... to make any sense some common metric need defined for evaluation.
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Old 07-15-2016, 04:32 PM   #120
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Ok... so if we consider rental income as an income stream, then what was your WR compared to you planned WR as the OP demonstrated in his post.

Whether rental income is seen as investment income or not... to make any sense some common metric need defined for evaluation.
Actual and planned are both 1.7% as described in my first post.
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