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Old 09-15-2016, 06:13 PM   #21
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We withdraw when our checking account gets "too low". No particular timing.

I have an idea of our "normal" monthly expenses. Then add in anything unusual that's coming up.

When I was working, we had regular paychecks, but we rarely spent the whole amount. We always spent "what seemed reasonable" rather than "what's in the paycheck". So retirement didn't really change our spending decision making.

We always had "enough" in the checking account to handle a surprise expense. We continued that approach in retirement.

The exact timing of withdrawals isn't a big deal. It's easy to get money quickly from Vanguard mutual funds. There's very little loss in having "too much" in a checking acct these days. So we've got room to err on either side.
Pretty much this for me though so far (1 1/2 years into retirement) I have yet to spend so much that my initial cash (bank acct) position has needed replenishing. I've always been a multiple year in cash guy. By my estimate I'll need to do some replenishing around the end of this year. If I need something for a large unexpected expense I can get money transferred inside of a couple of days
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Old 09-15-2016, 06:27 PM   #22
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Retired, 5 years, 66. I take what I need to replenish checking account...typically quarterly. I took SS at 62 as did my wife. Things going fine, tomorrow has a way of taking care of itself if you believe.
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Old 09-15-2016, 06:33 PM   #23
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I simply draw down as needed. Usually no more than a couple of times a month. I'm 9 years into retirement and this has worked well to this point. I will start receiving a monthly SS check next year so that will be nice. In the future I may convert to a yearly draw down as others are doing just to simplify things.
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Old 09-15-2016, 07:29 PM   #24
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I was withdrawing estimated expenses for each upcoming quarter but then it turned out I overestimated and just take out about 3 months guesstimate when the checking runs low.
Just took a couple months extra out as I'm traveling for a while and want no surprise s.

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Old 09-15-2016, 09:19 PM   #25
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I rebalance to 5 percent cash in an online savings account and the have an automatic monthly transfer to my local bank account that I use to pay my bills.
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Old 09-16-2016, 01:25 AM   #26
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Thank you all. Sounds like there are several methods that work for people. I think it will take a while to figure out what works best for us. Think we might take a "paycheck" from taxable dividends and CG for normal recurring spending and just withdraw as needed for bigger things like trips, property taxes, etc. I am sure it will be an emotional adjustment spending assets down after so many years of accumulation.


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Old 09-16-2016, 02:26 PM   #27
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The easiest thing I found was simply building on what I did before retirement. December of each year, I create a spreadsheet to calculate the upcoming year's expenses by month and how much I will need annually and monthly. January of each year during rebalancing, I withdraw the coming year's expenses from investments to a MM account. Dividends and CGs are also swept to this account. Monthly, I simply withdraw the next month's needed income from the interest earning MM account to my checking. You might say this is "like" having a paycheck.
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Old 09-16-2016, 02:55 PM   #28
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I think a lot of it has to do with how disciplined you are in your money management. Mine is a hybrid of many of the previous posters. I get a deferred comp check once a year and a taxable payout once a year. I take it to my credit union and deposit for the year. I've forecasted my expenses for the year and twice a month I go get my "paycheck" from the credit union and deposit it in Mega Bank where I have various accounts that are marked either for regular monthly spending or I accrue for taxes and big ticket items. So I'm as prepared as I can be when it's time for home or auto repair. This may seem tedious but it keeps me out of trouble when it comes to the temptation of overspending.
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Old 09-16-2016, 03:37 PM   #29
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My first 1.5 years I withdrew what I needed when I needed it.
This year I transfer money quarterly to a money market account, then monthly to my checking account.

That's for withdrawals from our investments. But we have 2 other sources of income that come in monthly.... Rental income and DH's SS income.

Oh - and my microscopic pension should start next month... so I'll have to adjust how much gets transfered to account for that.

I'm thinking of switching my strategy to similar to Audrey and W2R's method - percentage of portfolio on 12/31, dumped into bank on 1/1 (or at least that week). In other word, percentage of portfolio is updated each year. I'm still thinking about it... and figuring out the best way to work in Roth conversions, etc.
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Old 09-17-2016, 02:42 AM   #30
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We pay ourselves a monthly salary from my IRA based on average monthly dividends. DW's dividends accumulate to meet ad hoc spending requirements. We have withdrawn accumulated cash from our after tax accounts on occasion. Not withdrawing from Roths yet.

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Old 09-17-2016, 05:42 AM   #31
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I withdraw as much as I need whenever I need it. My SS covers most normal months but I withdraw some for property taxes, insurance, gifts and dental bills randomly. I keep a few thousand in checking and can stretch my SS with that for mortgage, utilities and food for a few months at a time.
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Old 09-17-2016, 08:33 AM   #32
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Hmmmm....


I don't really obsess about this much.

Been retired to semi-retired about 5 years now. My wife's (cola'd) pension and my two (partially cola'd) pensions are direct deposited to our checking account, as well as my (somewhat uneven) part-time consulting income. That's not quite enough to live on, but we maintain fairly large cash balances in our checking, savings and money market accounts and transfer additional funds, as needed. Over the past 12 months, for example, our checking account dropped from about $100k to $50k (and we'll be redoing our kitchen and 2 baths this year), so I'll be transferring funds from the MM soon. I'll also be increasing our savings account balances from $100k to $200k to keep access to privileges (mainly free safe deposit, foreign ATM withdrawals, etc.), and to collect a $500 new deposit bonus; but since the savings account pays about as much interest as the MM that's a wash anyway.

I do keep periodic track (every week or so) of our total financial assets and those have steadily increased over the past five years (by about 20-30%). I've opted to keep our cash transfers simple and so long as the total assets aren't heading south, why worry?



, but that's about a 1% withdrawal rate from our assets. We'll be redoing a kitchen and two baths over in the next year, so will probably but that amounts to less than 1% of our net worthand sometime over the next year we'll be redoing so we withdraw additional funds, as needed
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Old 09-17-2016, 09:37 AM   #33
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I have bond dividends sent directly to my checking account monthly and stock dividends sent quarterly. These dividends plus my SS take care of my expenses. It is simple with no effort and works.
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Old 09-17-2016, 10:35 AM   #34
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Originally Posted by Options View Post
The easiest thing I found was simply building on what I did before retirement. December of each year, I create a spreadsheet to calculate the upcoming year's expenses by month and how much I will need annually and monthly. January of each year during rebalancing, I withdraw the coming year's expenses from investments to a MM account. Dividends and CGs are also swept to this account. Monthly, I simply withdraw the next month's needed income from the interest earning MM account to my checking. You might say this is "like" having a paycheck.
This is pretty much the procedure I've used for the last 7 years. Works well for me too.
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Old 09-17-2016, 11:21 AM   #35
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Our pensions, rental and owner financed mortgage payment cover our living expenses and allow us to put money into future spending accounts for travel and major purchases. We took out an Equity Line of Credit to help manage any major home related expenses/repairs. We supplement our travel funds with what DW earns as a part-time travel agent and withdrawals from her traditional IRA. We will spend down the balance in her traditional IRA over the next 7.5 years or whenever we begin her SS whichever comes first. We will use her ROTH IRA to help with any ELOC payments we may have in the future.
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Old 09-17-2016, 11:29 AM   #36
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I no longer reinvest dividends and CG distributions, so those provide much of the cash flow needed. And when I rebalance my asset allocation I look at my cash situation for the next few months and take that opportunity to grab some cash to live on. Often I just sell from the heavy portion and take the money to rebalance, rather than buying in the light portion.


I don't like the idea of regular withdrawals, especially automatic, because I don't want an automatic sale of an asset without being able to pick which investment and which shares. Even with control I don't want to deal with this every 2 weeks or month. Not sure that anyone actually does that but I couldn't tell from the OP if that was being considered.
I just passed my second year in ER a couple of weeks ago. I've been using cash from savings, while letting dividends and CG distributions get re-invested for the most part. Most of the big holdings in VG are reinvested while some dividends from smaller holdings and individual stocks, I have been transferring to my bank accounts but these are about 5-7k per year.

My annual spending has been under 2% of all savings and dividends and CG distributions would more than cover the expenses.

So I haven't sold any shares, not even to rebalance. Equity allocation has been between 55 and 65%

I could go at least another year without changing anything but I'm thinking about turning off DRIP, especially for equity funds, to let it add to my cash.

However, with more than a year of spending left in cash and the low interest rates on savings, maybe I should wait until around the middle of next year.

One would think that equities will still return better than bank accounts, even though there's talk of stocks being overvalued and due for some pull-back.
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Old 09-17-2016, 01:00 PM   #37
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Our monthly gozin exceeds our gozout - there are normal high expenditure months - like property tax time - so we just don't transfer money to our ~1% savings account du jour for a month or so before those larger expenditures are expected. Other than that we don't have any system of withdrawal, other than the long habitual thrift in spending.
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Old 09-17-2016, 03:20 PM   #38
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We take what we need/want when ever we need/want it.
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Old 09-17-2016, 03:45 PM   #39
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Because I have no debt, I am able to comfortably live on a modest income.

In addition to early SS... I take just enough from my traditional IRA every year to keep me below the tax threshold. It also serves to reduce the tax surprise of future RMDs.

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Old 09-17-2016, 03:56 PM   #40
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What tax threshold?

For ACA subsidies?
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