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Old 04-07-2017, 02:34 PM   #21
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Our only income in retirement (other than from portfolio and conversions) will be whatever Social is given to us. Unless really dire things happen to the world, we'll be spending more than that, so savings won't happen.
+1, us too. We hope to spend less than WR in some/many years first 15 years or so, but actual "savings" were never in our plan.
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Old 04-07-2017, 02:42 PM   #22
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My plan is partly like this, instead of a fixed withdrawal rate I'll take out two and twenty, that would be 2% of AUM and 20% of the annual marked to market change. This effectively pulls more out during boom years. I haven't yet backtested this against a fixed 3% of initial value indexed to inflation. In principle my way can't deplete to zero, but it can reach a state where withdrawals get too low to cover basic cost of living.
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Old 04-07-2017, 02:54 PM   #23
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By using a fixed number instead of SWR % it's easy for the wife understands she gets half of our NW above 4M at tax time each year.
Okay, I can understand why this might be attractive. But then:
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If inflation spikes then I can always adjust my plan as I have good control on limiting my "needs expenses".
Will your wife do the adjusting if you aren't around? Does she know when and how?

In your boots, I'd consider something that is nearly as simple and doesn't require any changes/adjustments if inflation goes bonkers, if investments do poorly, etc. It's no more complex and a lot more bulletproof to tally the NW and multiply by X than to tally the net worth and subtract 4M.
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I do understand and appreciate the comments. Thanks for the check.
Best wishes. You've got a "good" problem.
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Old 04-07-2017, 02:57 PM   #24
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Todays dollars no inflation adjustment.

Will adjust my plan if inflation spikes up a lot. I do notice that fixed asset investment rates rise along with inflation, which helps the picutre.
Our current plan has us spending .6% of the portfolio once SS kicks in, which is probably the real return we will get with our conservative portfolio. So no saving for us in real dollars unless we downsize and reduce expenses, but inflation adjusted NW should be close to the same when we die as it is today except for extraordinary expenses like LTC.
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Old 04-07-2017, 03:16 PM   #25
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This is just a variable withdrawal rate. If 3% of $4M will cover your retirement expenses go ahead and spend any amounts above that if you want.
Not as I have seen VPW defined, and how I use it. I target spending to an increasing % each year, based upon my start of year balance. If I'm over "enough", the bonus is spread out over the remaining years, not all spent in a splurge. This way I get a little extra as a bonus, but if the market turns, I still have more padding.

One nice thing about the OP's strategy is that it seems to encourage extra spending only when the market is high, which is a good time to sell or not be reinvesting in the market. Seems fine to me as long as "enough" isn't "just barely enough". I'd be too worried about a prolonged downturn and inflation for "just barely enough".
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Old 04-07-2017, 05:06 PM   #26
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We decided to stop saving in retirement when we reach a certain network figure - our "enough money figure". Each year after tax time, we give each half the amount over that "enough" figure as a bonus to spend.

We know that some years we may not get any bonus but also there seems no point in saving past your "enough money" figure. Just wondering if anyone else has a similar plan.
This sounds like a good plan if you can implement it. Our net worth and income continue to rise - we keep raising the rent and lending money. The problem, for us, is that we are so used to and comfortable with our lifestyle that we find it painful to spend more than our norm. Our enough is just plenty.

People mention that if your nest egg doesn't keep growing it isn't keeping pace with inflation and is shrinking in real terms. I've wondered about that - if I have x nest egg and a 20 year life span anticipated then if I live a year and my nest egg is the same size it seems the egg only needs to last 19 years, so it effectively HAS grown as the divisor has shrunk.
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Old 04-07-2017, 05:33 PM   #27
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People mention that if your nest egg doesn't keep growing it isn't keeping pace with inflation and is shrinking in real terms. I've wondered about that - if I have x nest egg and a 20 year life span anticipated then if I live a year and my nest egg is the same size it seems the egg only needs to last 19 years, so it effectively HAS grown as the divisor has shrunk.
Works great if we know, even roughly, how many years we have left. Few of us do until very late in the game.

A 65 YO American woman has a life expectancy of 20.5 additional years. Five years later, when she is 70, she does not have a life expectancy of 15.5 years, but instead it is 16.5 years. And even at age 65, though there was a 50% chance she would die by age 87, there was a 25% chance she'd still be alive at age 92 (27 years). And if she >were< alive at 92? Then her average number of years left is about 4 more, but there's a 1-in-10 chance she'll be alive at 100.

The "probable" goalposts keep moving back like this, and the "good chance that you'll make it to" goalposts do, too (would any of us be comfortable with a WR that gives a 50% chance of portfolio failure? Then we shouldn't plan on the average or median life expectancy, either). That makes it really hard to burn down to a very low portfolio unless we live a very long time: A 100 year old should feel safe with a 20% WR.
The obvious way to avoid this is to buy an annuity, which absolves us of the need to carry a big pot of money to the end "just in case." An annuity sure reduces the chance of leaving a big pot of money unspent for use by heirs or charities--because an insurance company has the money instead.
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Old 04-07-2017, 06:54 PM   #28
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Early retirement years are the years you can spend and still enjoy your money. I have different buckets for different things. My travel bucket is different from retirement savings. Right now, I just plan for my travel, I have no budget. I suspect, we have about 5 years to enjoy traveling in good health. Who knows what happens after that. Maybe I just watch Rick Steves on TV.
So in short, I agree about spending money now vs later.
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Old 04-07-2017, 07:32 PM   #29
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I guess we are in the save until you die category. Before the round of boo's, I'll try to explain. First we are self funded LTC. So, when is enough, enough. Pension and SS will cover current expenses and leave about half the necessary funds for LTC. If you add in SWR from IRA's it's up to about about three quarters of the necessary funds. So currently LTC would require a withdraw from IRA's above SWR. So we continue to not spend all the money coming in, and move RMD to a taxable fund. If one of us dies, the pension, SS are enough to cover LTC even is the IRA's are at $0.

Now, having said this, we do not skimp! Our annual expenses include all the big and little spending things DW and I desire. We travel when and where we want, we fund part of out grand kids college, (because we want to) and buy a new car ever three or four years. (so far in retirement going from base model Honda Pilot to an Acura MDX) And, we enjoy our retirement!

So, we save, but we spend aldo.
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Old 04-07-2017, 11:06 PM   #30
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I guess we are in the save until you die category. Before the round of boo's, I'll try to explain. First we are self funded LTC. So, when is enough, enough. Pension and SS will cover current expenses and leave about half the necessary funds for LTC. If you add in SWR from IRA's it's up to about about three quarters of the necessary funds. So currently LTC would require a withdraw from IRA's above SWR. So we continue to not spend all the money coming in, and move RMD to a taxable fund. If one of us dies, the pension, SS are enough to cover LTC even is the IRA's are at $0.

Now, having said this, we do not skimp! Our annual expenses include all the big and little spending things DW and I desire. We travel when and where we want, we fund part of out grand kids college, (because we want to) and buy a new car ever three or four years. (so far in retirement going from base model Honda Pilot to an Acura MDX) And, we enjoy our retirement!

So, we save, but we spend aldo.
Right now my pension and rental cover my income needs and I'm reinvesting dividends....so I'm still accumulating. When my US and UK SS checks start I'll probably just invest those too. I bought LTC at age 38 and that will cover $300k before I need to spend.
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Old 04-08-2017, 06:52 AM   #31
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I'm planning to under-spend long term WR in third year of retirement. I'm close to pulling the plug.....now inside of 1 yr. Have been building a cash cushion to cover expenses in first two years. Since we plan to buy our retirement house before we sell our current one, the cash number is significant. We are also going to do a couple of big 5 figure vacations in the first two years. After that we will mellow out a bit on the spending....at least that's the plan.
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Old 04-08-2017, 08:16 AM   #32
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Only 4 years into ER and not comfortable spending excess funds. Inflation and healthcare costs can drain those excess funds very fast. I assume 2.5% inflation in my plan, but I use 7.5% for healthcare. Currently we are $16K under budget and $185K above "plan" portfolio for the past 4 years. However, I just plug in our renewed BCBS premiums which increase 18% from last year and now we are tending $200K below end-of-plan portfolio 44 years from now. Doing this kind of analysis helps be appreciate how much inflation impacts our plan down the road. It is tempting to spend excess funds, but will not until we are well above the "plan" line that I locked in at day 1 of ER. Our biggest buffer is assuming no SS or Medicare so when we get within a 5-7 years window for collecting those benefits then we will most likely increase spending to match the line we locked in at ER. Too many unknowns with SS/Med and there will most likely be a lot of changes in the next 15 years.
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Old 04-08-2017, 08:28 AM   #33
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We're underspending our withdrawal, so I guess that means we're still saving - retired over 16 years. I let funds accumulate in short-term accounts - it's there to use whenever we want.

We set a budget above our spending level. It's what I call our "generous" budget - but that's mainly for planning purposes. We don't deprive ourselves.

Haven't started paying for business class international flights yet - some might consider that depriving ourselves.
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Old 04-08-2017, 10:56 AM   #34
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Spend $30k a year on British Airways credit card and you get one free companion ticket. That's how I play to get my business/ first class ticket. Plus I get to skip the line at the airport when I get to London.
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Old 04-08-2017, 11:52 AM   #35
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More numbers.
Today Dividends = expenses @77K/yr, without SS income.
mix is now 65/10/25
Taking SS in 3 yrs which add 60K/yr
Toolman,

There are so many ways to work a plan. Your numbers are solid (3 years WD's <2%; after that, WR of <0.5%--these are absent the bonus). If this bonus approach works best for you, use it.

The input from others above have correctly identified many of the highest risk factors we all face when retired (inflation, market downturns, LTC/unexpected health costs). We all face those whether we use a WR basis for max spending or some other method...and we adjust. As long as you are providing for these and any other material risks you believe apply to you, you should be good.

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Old 04-08-2017, 09:13 PM   #36
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This sounds like a good plan if you can implement it. Our net worth and income continue to rise - we keep raising the rent and lending money. The problem, for us, is that we are so used to and comfortable with our lifestyle that we find it painful to spend more than our norm. Our enough is just plenty.

People mention that if your nest egg doesn't keep growing it isn't keeping pace with inflation and is shrinking in real terms. I've wondered about that - if I have x nest egg and a 20 year life span anticipated then if I live a year and my nest egg is the same size it seems the egg only needs to last 19 years, so it effectively HAS grown as the divisor has shrunk.


+1
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Old 04-09-2017, 06:28 AM   #37
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A combination of time horizon still being 40+ years (at least for DW) and an awareness of both the damage inflation can cause and the slings and arrows of outrageous financial fortune, would make it impossible for me to not try and keep up with inflation.

I just vetoed DW's latest attempt to buy a car (completely unnecessary where we live) but will revisit when our home mortgage is paid off in 3.5 years. That said, as the gap between income and expenses remains solid I can see us allowing ourselves a few more expenses in the years ahead, but I hope there will always be a surplus of income over expenses to be reinvested. I would get very stressed if I thought there was a risk of outliving our money.
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Old 04-09-2017, 06:36 AM   #38
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No reason to not keep funding a Roth IRA if you're not sure, you can always withdraw the cost basis back out.
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Old 04-09-2017, 08:25 AM   #39
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Is your enough in nominal or inflation adjusted dollars?
Sort of unrelated, but....

After a certain age (63+), your time left here, even assuming a long life span (90), is reduced each year, in percentage terms, by more than 3% inflation. So you could use a fixed, nominal amount after that.
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Old 04-09-2017, 08:34 AM   #40
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Sort of unrelated, but....

After a certain age (63+), your time left here, even assuming a long life span (90), is reduced each year, in percentage terms, by more than 3% inflation. So you could use a fixed, nominal amount after that.

That's a very nice and simple way of looking at a complex concept for most people - well played!
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