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Old 05-28-2021, 08:08 AM   #161
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Originally Posted by ESRwannabe View Post
olyveoil,

I don't come to this website very often anymore for the same reasons that you are now discovering. Its pointless to try and have a discussion on here about dividend investing. Don't waste your time. ....
Why would a discussion comparing the performance of different investing strategies be a pointless waste of time?

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Originally Posted by ESRwannabe View Post
A few comments.

All these historical data points, graphs, and so on is an illusion. People do not get the benchmark returns even if they put 100% into the most holly of hollies VTI ...
Why wouldn't they get the same returns as published? How is it an illusion? Those returns are net of fees. Not net of taxes obviously, but that affects any taxable account, and one can expect lower taxes from an investment with lower distributions anyhow, which could favor VTI over a div-sector.

Maybe you mean because we are also withdrawing from that portfolio? See below.


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Originally Posted by ESRwannabe View Post
... It is not monolithic such as "put it all into VTI or you suck". ...
I think this discussion would go better if you didn't characterize posters as saying things like "put it all into VTI or you suck". Some us are just presenting information, it's not helpful to describe that as being antagonistic. As I said earlier, don't shoot the messenger.


That said, I will attempt to productively discuss your points:

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Originally Posted by ESRwannabe View Post
... I have said this many many many times on this message board, and I will say it again. Investing for dividends is a withdrawal strategy.
...

People that attack dividend investing by making stock selection comparison completely miss the point of dividend investing which is a WITHDRAWAL STRATEGY.

The correct comparison to make is dividend investing vs the 4% rule, for example.
Did you notice that in the data I provided, I included a 3.5% inflation adjusted withdrawal in the analysis? It's apples-apples, each investor gets the same annual dollars in withdrawals. And the data shows that the div-paying sector does not perform better on a risk adjusted basis.

So can you explain what makes a div-focused WITHDRAWAL STRATEGY attractive? Why would an investor prefer this strategy, when (at least in our limited data set) they would likely have less money in their portfolio after years of using this strategy? Isn't that a risk to future portfolio survivability?

I'm aware that some of the div-sector proponents seem to think "just living off dividends" is simpler, or some other advantage? Can you show us how this works in real life, with a div sector fund (for ease of management and better diversification than a handful of individual stocks)? I ask, because I just don't understand how a retiree would match their spending with the distributions? The distributions seem to vary over time. What do they do with any excess or shortfall? So how exactly is this implemented to provide an advantage and/or simplification?

As a point of reference, it seems pretty easy for a balanced VTI/BND portfolio investor. That portfolio will likely kick off less than a typical conservative 3.5% withdrawal rate, so the WITHDRAWAL STRATEGY is take the divs, and at year-end, or quarterly, or on an as as-needed basis (whatever your preference, makes no real difference), sell off BND and/or VTI, based on their weightings to get you towards your desired AA (or just do whatever, portfolio success isn't really very sensitive to mid-range AA anyhow).

So let's compare WITHDRAWAL STRATEGIES then.

-ERD50
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Old 05-28-2021, 08:14 AM   #162
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Originally Posted by ESRwannabe View Post

I have said this many many many times on this message board, and I will say it again. Investing for dividends is a withdrawal strategy. The core concept is that you are relying on dividend income for your withdrawals. You can do this with almost anything. You can apply this strategy with VTI, VT, even QQQ pays a dividend.

This is why people cannot have a productive discussion about dividend investing. The dividend investor is choosing a withdrawal strategy, the "VTI or else" crowd is talking about a stock selection strategy.


When dividend investors advocate dividend investing it is because of the withdrawal method. The actual stock selection is secondary and unique to each individual. It is not monolithic such as "put it all into VTI or you suck".

People that attack dividend investing by making stock selection comparison completely miss the point of dividend investing which is a WITHDRAWAL STRATEGY.
Good point on identifying the difference between investing and withdrawal strategies. Investing in dividend payers is also a risk management strategy. I don't really see a need to compare the two, but if done, risk adjusted results would lead to a more informed comparison.

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Originally Posted by ERD50 View Post
Why would a discussion comparing the performance of different investing strategies be a pointless waste of time?
If this discussion is about comparing total returns of dividend payers vs total market, the continuing debate might make sense. OTOH, if the thread is about looking for options for dividend payers as an allocation, the insistence that total market is superior is a distraction.
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Old 05-28-2021, 08:17 AM   #163
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When the last crash happened I was calm, unlike in 2008 when I was stressed to the max.

The difference was that I learned from the 2008 crash that relying on total return is too stressful. That is when I turned to dividend growth investing.

Many people on this message board panicked in 2020 and sold out and then had to try and market time getting back in, and lost a lot of money (or at least opportunity cost).

The dividend withdrawal strategy has served me very well.
I cross posted with this reply, but I'll answer this directly, I'd still like to hear your withdraw strategy.

WADR, the above is an illusion.

As pb4uski pointed out, there was not a big difference in performance of div-sector and total market in the 2008 crash. The div-sector might have even done worse by a small amount (depends on which funds/ETFs and exact timing, but close). And then under-performs, leaving you with a smaller portfolio to get you through the next dip - there's real risk there (if the under-performance continues - who knows, but the history doesn't give any indications to expect it to be different?).

So there is no reason to see the div-sector as less stressful. That is an illusion.

If you prefer your illusion, that's fine I guess, your choice. But I'll continue to point out that it is an illusion, so that others don't fall into the trap of believing it to be true, just because it gets repeated so often by the div-sector fans.

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Old 05-28-2021, 08:41 AM   #164
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Dividends are determined by the companies themselves based on the data that the companies see (which is going to be far more detailed and accurate than what anyone else has at that time).

Withdrawing 4% is based on historical data. It is based on companies that don't even exist anymore, in a global economic world that doesn't exist anymore, so on and so on.

You can call it purely psychological if you want, but for me I will also feel safer withdrawing dividends only than using the 4% rule.

IMHO, the dividend withdrawal strategy is the safest and most conservative withdrawal strategy there is.
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Old 05-28-2021, 08:42 AM   #165
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Originally Posted by ERD50 View Post
Why would a discussion comparing the performance of different investing strategies be a pointless waste of time?
If this discussion is about comparing total returns of dividend payers vs total market, the continuing debate might make sense. OTOH, if the thread is about looking for options for dividend payers as an allocation, the insistence that total market is superior is a distraction.
I don't see it as a distraction, I see it as important and fundamental to the question.

As an analogy, let's say a poster asked which of these magic elixirs should they buy to improve the mpg of their car with the goal of reducing total fuel costs (including the cost of the additive).

Well, if the data showed that they didn't improve mpg, and only added to their fuel cost, shouldn't that be brought to light? Is it really serving the larger community here to just tell the poster "Oh, I prefer brand XYZ magic elixir", because that answers the question?

To recommend specific div-sector funds, without analyzing if they are really meeting the goals of the investor, strikes me as having blinders on, and is not constructive. That's my view.

Oh, maybe semantics, but the "insistence that total market is superior" isn't something I "insist", the data keeps showing it. That's a bit like saying someone "insists" that 2+2=4. I'm just the messenger.

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Old 05-28-2021, 08:47 AM   #166
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Originally Posted by ESRwannabe View Post
Dividends are determined by the companies themselves based on the data that the companies see (which is going to be far more detailed and accurate than what anyone else has at that time).

Withdrawing 4% is based on historical data. It is based on companies that don't even exist anymore, in a global economic world that doesn't exist anymore, so on and so on.

You can call it purely psychological if you want, but for me I will also feel safer withdrawing dividends only than using the 4% rule.

IMHO, the dividend withdrawal strategy is the safest and most conservative withdrawal strategy there is.
OK, thanks. Now, can you give us examples of how this is implemented? If I'm following you, your spending habits are defined by what your dividends are. They go up, you can spend more, they go down, you spend less? Or something different?

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Old 05-28-2021, 08:48 AM   #167
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The only problem with that logic is that the drawdown rates between VTI and high dividend funds are not very different during periods of financial stress.... so while you say that a dividend strategy served you very well a total return strategy would have also served you very well.
I don't think he was referring to high dividend funds. I'm pretty sure he meant companies that grow their dividends each year. High dividend funds may include companies whose price has dropped increasing their yield or companies using a large percentage of earnings to cover their dividend. Companies that grow their dividends tend to be much healthier, thereby not falling as much during a market downturn.
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Old 05-28-2021, 08:57 AM   #168
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OK, thanks. Now, can you give us examples of how this is implemented? If I'm following you, your spending habits are defined by what your dividends are. They go up, you can spend more, they go down, you spend less? Or something different?

-ERD50
Yes, that is correct.

In general dividend income goes up over time. For the VTI the data looks like this:

Dividend Growth Rate 3Y (CAGR) = 6.10%

Dividend Growth Rate 5Y (CAGR) =6.76%

Dividend Growth Rate 10Y (CAGR) =8.99%

You do not have to deviate from VTI if you wish to use the dividend withdrawal strategy. Over time your income goes up. You can spend 100% of the dividends and the income still goes up and it compounds on itself.

You spend the dividend income and that is it. I am 100% stocks. I can spend all of the dividend income every year and in general both my total assets and dividend income go up every year.
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Old 05-28-2021, 08:58 AM   #169
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A few comments.

All these historical data points, graphs, and so on is an illusion. People do not get the benchmark returns even if they put 100% into the most holly of hollies VTI (or VT depending on how well intl is doing) (or a small cap value tilt, depending on how well that is doing, because I have seen a lot of hypocrites over the years in the "everything must be VTI crowd").

I have said this many many many times on this message board, and I will say it again. Investing for dividends is a withdrawal strategy. The core concept is that you are relying on dividend income for your withdrawals. You can do this with almost anything. You can apply this strategy with VTI, VT, even QQQ pays a dividend.

This is why people cannot have a productive discussion about dividend investing. The dividend investor is choosing a withdrawal strategy, the "VTI or else" crowd is talking about a stock selection strategy.

When dividend investors advocate dividend investing it is because of the withdrawal method. The actual stock selection is secondary and unique to each individual. It is not monolithic such as "put it all into VTI or you suck".

People that attack dividend investing by making stock selection comparison completely miss the point of dividend investing which is a WITHDRAWAL STRATEGY.

The correct comparison to make is dividend investing vs the 4% rule, for example.
I'm all for turning this so-far fairly contentious thread into a data sharing exercise! Can you show the data that people won't get the broad index, I've thought of two or three possibilities and counterpoints, but is seems silly to try to read your mind, so I'm hoping you can just show us.

Did you do some analysis to show the superiority of dividends investing when withdrawals are considered? I agree the efficient frontier calculations I did do not include withdrawals since it's not an option in Portfolio Visualizer on efficient frontier calculations, but since this is just math, for dividend investing to be a contender, it would have to at least be on the efficient frontier vs VTI+ BND a lot of the time, but it's actually been fairly rare that VYM was there. Where can we find the data that says withdrawals change the picture and make dividend funds more attractive?

The other comparisons I did in this thread (and I think it's true for ERD50's posts as well) with VTI & VTI + bonds regularly beating dividend funds do include 4% inflation adjusted withdrawal.

The data used in this thread is very limited as high dividend funds seem to go out of business pretty quickly. Note that since VYM is the longest survivor folks here could find, there's likely a survivorship bias in its favor that it was the luckiest/most skillful fund of the herd and so likely did better than its competitors. Now that is as an example of how most investors did not get the indicated return, since most wouldn't have found what turned out to be the survivor.

As far as a withdrawal strategy, yes, I would have to actively click some buttons to sell assets with VTI+ bonds vs. a dividend investor who uses the forced sale that dividends represent instead. I don't see a difference, except when I sell, I might be be able to select lots give me a lower tax bill than a dividend investor and I can sell only what I need.
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Old 05-28-2021, 09:05 AM   #170
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I'm all for turning this so-far fairly contentious thread into a data sharing exercise! Can you show the data that people won't get the broad index, I've thought of two or three possibilities and counterpoints, but is seems silly to try to read your mind, so I'm hoping you can just show us.

Did you do some analysis to show the superiority of dividends investing when withdrawals are considered? I agree the efficient frontier calculations I did do not include withdrawals since it's not an option in Portfolio Visualizer on efficient frontier calculations, but since this is just math, for dividend investing to be a contender, it would have to at least be on the efficient frontier vs VTI+ BND a lot of the time, but it's actually been fairly rare that VYM was there. Where can we find the data that says withdrawals change the picture and make dividend funds more attractive?

The other comparisons I did in this thread (and I think it's true for ERD50's posts as well) with VTI & VTI + bonds regularly beating dividend funds do include 4% inflation adjusted withdrawal.

The data used in this thread is very limited as high dividend funds seem to go out of business pretty quickly. Note that since VYM is the longest survivor folks here could find, there's likely a survivorship bias in its favor that it was the luckiest/most skillful fund of the herd and so likely did better than its competitors. Now that is as an example of how most investors did not get the indicated return, since most wouldn't have found what turned out to be the survivor.

As far as a withdrawal strategy, yes, I would have to actively click some buttons to sell assets with VTI+ bonds vs. a dividend investor who uses the forced sale that dividends represent instead. I don't see a difference, except when I sell, I might be be able to select lots give me a lower tax bill than a dividend investor and I can sell only what I need.

Here are my precise reasons for choosing the dividend withdrawal strategy:

Dividends are determined by the companies themselves based on the data that the companies see (which is going to be far more detailed and accurate than what anyone else has at that time).

Withdrawing 4% is based on historical data. It is based on companies that don't even exist anymore, in a global economic world that doesn't exist anymore, so on and so on.

You can call it purely psychological if you want, but for me I will also feel safer withdrawing dividends only than using the 4% rule.

IMHO, the dividend withdrawal strategy is the safest and most conservative withdrawal strategy there is.
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Old 05-28-2021, 09:53 AM   #171
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Why would a discussion comparing the performance of different investing strategies be a pointless waste of time?

-ERD50
The PROBLEM is you have Hi-jacked this thread. The original OP was just asking for a couple of ETF and YOU think you need to tell him the downfalls of what he is wanting to do. START your own thread about how bad Dividend investing but please quit Hi-Jacking others threads. We all have different ideas of what we want to do.
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Old 05-28-2021, 10:55 AM   #172
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The PROBLEM is you have Hi-jacked this thread. The original OP was just asking for a couple of ETF and YOU think you need to tell him the downfalls of what he is wanting to do. START your own thread about how bad Dividend investing but please quit Hi-Jacking others threads. We all have different ideas of what we want to do.
Funny thing though, the OP singled out ERD50 as being especially helpful.


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My thanks to every ones input with extra kudos going to ERD50 for his detailed analysis. For those who are curious as to my final decision, I decided to invest 49% in monthly dividend ETFs (PGX and SPHD) and 49% in a total return ETF (VTI). The remaining 2% will be in cash to provide a cushion for monthly disbursements.
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Old 05-28-2021, 11:10 AM   #173
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... Dividends are determined by the companies themselves based on the data that the companies see (which is going to be far more detailed and accurate than what anyone else has at that time).
All true. Also huge political and emotional factors are involved, sometimes even dominating. Not sure what your point is, but whatever you are arguing would also apply to companies doing stock buybacks and offering zero dividends.

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... Withdrawing 4% is based on historical data. It is based on companies that don't even exist anymore, in a global economic world that doesn't exist anymore, so on and so on.
All true. True of all historical data and all inductive reasoning. However, historical data and inductive reasoning have proven helpful in studying investing, Taleb's Turkey notwithstanding.

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... You can call it purely psychological if you want, but for me I will also feel safer withdrawing dividends only than using the 4% rule.
All true. You get to decide.

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...IMHO, the dividend withdrawal strategy is the safest and most conservative withdrawal strategy there is.
Not true and easily demonstrated. Withdrawing half of dividends has to be safer and more conservative than withdrawing 100%.Withdrawing none is even safer and more conservative than that. Withdrawing only the portion of dividends that exceeds the inflation rate is also safer and more conservative. I think your enthusiasm for the argument is overrunning your logical thinking.
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Old 05-28-2021, 11:12 AM   #174
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Here are my precise reasons for choosing the dividend withdrawal strategy:

Dividends are determined by the companies themselves based on the data that the companies see (which is going to be far more detailed and accurate than what anyone else has at that time).

Withdrawing 4% is based on historical data. It is based on companies that don't even exist anymore, in a global economic world that doesn't exist anymore, so on and so on.

You can call it purely psychological if you want, but for me I will also feel safer withdrawing dividends only than using the 4% rule.

IMHO, the dividend withdrawal strategy is the safest and most conservative withdrawal strategy there is.
OK. I see this as somewhat parallel to those who take a fixed % (non-inflation adjusted) of the end-of-year value of their portfolio. Mathematically, it is true they will never deplete their portfolio. But in bad sequence, their W/D may drop to a penny. But they haven't depleted their portfolio (extreme case for illustration). It's a different kind of risk.

I think you are saying, these companies will manage their dividends for survival, and you accept the dividend payout they offer, and trade a drop in divs for some survivability. OK, but I think that's a similar risk to the % of portfolio group.

That makes it difficult to do a direct apples-apples comparison to an inflation adjusted W/D from the total market (I'd need a program to take the same W/D amount from the total market portfolio as a div-sector fund did each year), but I still think we can gather some insights based on the direct comparison.

And seeing that (in the time frames we have available) VTI out-performs the div-sector funds/ETFs with an inflation adjusted W/D, it seems reasonable that if we were to do that exercise of adjusting the VTI W/D to match the div-sector divs, the div-sector would still under-perform (there's only so much money there for W/D). So that left the div-sector portfolio pretty far behind VTI, and portfolio value is certainly related to portfolio success. It's hard to overcome a $500,000 deficit with better dividend management.

I think it is debatable that a company is going to manage its dividends such that will provide some greater preservation value to the investor. I think there are several examples of blue-chip type companies with dividend policies that didn't reflect their overall health. There can be a strong incentive to *not* cut dividends, as that will usually trigger a drop in the stock price, and while you may not care so much, the BOD and other investors (who the BOD must consider) do care. But I'm not really interested in debating that, I think it would just be a group of anecdotes of this company did this and that company did that, w/o much overall insight or applicability to div-sector fund/ETF.

It almost seems an investor with this outlook (that div rates are adjusted for survivability) would be better served by holding a risk adjusted VTI/Bond portfolio, and taking the div payout amount of those div-sector funds from the VTI/Bond portfolio. They'd get a flexible income that somewhat matches market conditions, but be invested in what has delivered more value (in the time frame we have available - afraid I'll get jumped on if I don't include that caveat every...single... time ).

-ERD50
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Old 05-28-2021, 11:25 AM   #175
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The PROBLEM is you have Hi-jacked this thread. The original OP was just asking for a couple of ETF and YOU think you need to tell him the downfalls of what he is wanting to do. START your own thread about how bad Dividend investing but please quit Hi-Jacking others threads. We all have different ideas of what we want to do.
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Funny thing though, the OP singled out ERD50 as being especially helpful.

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My thanks to every ones input with extra kudos going to ERD50 for his detailed analysis. For those who are curious as to my final decision, I decided to invest 49% in monthly dividend ETFs (PGX and SPHD) and 49% in a total return ETF (VTI). The remaining 2% will be in cash to provide a cushion for monthly disbursements.
Hah-hah! Thanks for pointing that out. I saw that "thanks" (and "extra kudos" even!) from the OP earlier, but had forgotten about it. I don't do this for fame and fortune after all!

Pretty ironic for Bruno to get on a high horse and presume to be speaking for the OP, and then misrepresenting him by oh, 180 degrees?

But I was going to respond to Bruno that, like my earlier analogy on "magic elixirs" and mpg - it really would not help people if the two discussions were in separate threads. The two are intertwined and context is needed.

Oh boy! -ERD50
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Old 05-28-2021, 11:33 AM   #176
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... We all have different ideas of what we want to do.
And one of the great befits of the this forum is we get to hear and share those different ideas. I've learned a lot from many different individuals here. I've become aware of things I probably would have missed otherwise.

A big "thanks" to the forum members, owners, admins and mods.

And you know what I do when I hear about some idea - I analyze it. It might be a great idea and great for me, it might be a great idea, but not applicable to me. It might be a lousy idea from some misguided individual. Only an analysis can help me determine that.

It's what I do. I'm not aware of any better methodology. It has served me well.

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Old 05-28-2021, 01:47 PM   #177
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Funny thing though, the OP singled out ERD50 as being especially helpful.
I really think that Bossman was just beng nice. If you notice he still went with Dividend paying ETF and VTI.

BIG thanks go out to another MEGA poster for backing up ERD50.
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Old 05-28-2021, 02:07 PM   #178
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.... I think your enthusiasm for the argument is overrunning your logical thinking.
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Old 05-28-2021, 02:12 PM   #179
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...BIG thanks go out to another MEGA poster for backing up ERD50.
Not sure if RunningBum was necessarily backing up ERD50... just making a valid point that was obviously totally lost on you.
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Old 05-28-2021, 02:48 PM   #180
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I'm aware that some of the div-sector proponents seem to think "just living off dividends" is simpler, or some other advantage? Can you show us how this works in real life, with a div sector fund (for ease of management and better diversification than a handful of individual stocks)? I ask, because I just don't understand how a retiree would match their spending with the distributions? The distributions seem to vary over time. What do they do with any excess or shortfall? So how exactly is this implemented to provide an advantage and/or simplification?...

-ERD50
Unfortunately, "living off dividends" only increases sequence of return risk (SORR):

https://earlyretirementnow.com/2019/...eries-part-29/

So I can't see it as "the safest and most conservative withdrawal strategy there is" though it may be more emotionally comforting.

Plenty of threads on dividends versus total return withdrawal strategy over on bogleheads forums, & they come to the same conclusion.

Also don't forget the negative effect of a dividend withdrawal strategy on mAGI for those pre-Medicare retirees relying on ACA subsidies.
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