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SWR another 6.5+ million calculations
Old 01-05-2017, 04:01 PM   #61
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SWR another 6.5+ million calculations

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Originally Posted by Totoro View Post
The title is kind of grandiose "Ultimate?" too..
This was my initial reaction as well, in addition to the fact that few early retirement folks would argue that a 4% SWR is safe for retirements beyond 30 years.

In addition to that, and no disrespect to Mr. ERN, but you lost me as a reader, when you stated in another string that 30% of your investment portfolio is devoted to selling naked puts using 3x leverage. Just sayin..... On the one hand you argue for more conservative spending while on the other hand utilize aggressive investing techniques.



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Old 01-05-2017, 04:18 PM   #62
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Totoro View Post
In my view the Trinity and Firecalc approach is useless for extreme potential horizons. The title is kind of grandiose "Ultimate?" too.

Why? Because once you go beyond 50 or years or so some things happen:
  • You have to live from capital returns, not capital buffers
  • Historical sample sizes become too small
  • Start and end valuation multiples matter less
  • The odds of other events start dominating, from revolutions to sudden sickness, tax changes etc ..


The best guess for equities comes from going back to the source of your capital returns: world economic growth and typical real earnings yield. It represents future growth + current payoffs.



The first has been pretty rock solid at 3% real, the second one at 3% or so (5% - 2% inflation), bouncing around quite a bit.


What you are doing when planning for an expected return is making assumptions about those two numbers. It's the same approach that Bogle uses btw.



Personally I'm aiming for 2% growth [lower population growth] and 2.5% current real yield, so 4.5% as a rough sketch.


Funnily enough this approaches the Trinity results, so I guess I'm sort of contradicting myself here Let's just say it's the right result with the wrong approach



In addition I'd argue that going above 75% equities is not wise at all. For a few theoretical percentage points success increase one gives up the opportunity to move to a higher equity percentage and buy low when stuff hits the fan (or floor). In addition you'll pay an emotional toll in the form of higher volatility.


Long story short: 3% or even 5%, and financial worry should not be #1. You can't get more precision out of the fuzzy future anyway.

I don't think that your expected real equity return is far off. I would have personally put it at 4.0%, rather than 4.5%, but I'm not going to argue about 50bps.
But what you seem to forget is that you won't get the average return every year. Due to the stochastic nature of equity returns and sequence of return risk, you'd have to lower the withdrawal rate. How much? Well, you don't like the Trinity Study approach. Me neither, but until you show me a better way to gauge the haircut I have to apply to get a sense of tail event probabilities, I'll stick to my methodology. A naive approach a la withdrawal rate = expected return is not going to cut it for me.

Also, quite amazingly, you're contradicting yourself in that same post. If equities have 4.5% real yield and you want 75% or less equity weight, where's the 25%? In bonds? With 0.5% real yield right now? 0.75*4.5%+0.25*0.5%=3.5%. There goes your 4% rule.
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Old 01-05-2017, 04:43 PM   #63
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Originally Posted by Golden sunsets View Post
This was my initial reaction as well, in addition to the fact that few early retirement folks would argue that a 4% SWR is safe for retirements beyond 30 years.

In addition to that, and no disrespect to Mr. ERN, but you lost me as a reader, when you stated in another string that 30% of your investment portfolio is devoted to selling naked puts using 3x leverage. Just sayin..... On the one hand you argue for more conservative spending while on the other hand utilize aggressive investing techniques.
What's with the sour mood here in the forum? We all seem to agree that <4% is the prudent thing to do, right? Let's all do a high-five and group hug and be happy!

As I mentioned before, some very influential bloggers (Mr. Money Mustache, MadFIentist, etc.) all claim the 4% rule is a-OK. You are right in that many of my close blogging friends are much more cautious. And most of them like my SWR series because finally, someone spent the effort to do some SWR research for the FIRE crowd and confirm what many already suspected.
Since I'm the first to do a comprehensive analysis for the FIRE crowd I am entitled to a slightly "self-confident" title. If you come up with something better, use an even more grandiose title.

And no disrespect to you, but this seems to be the last resort of folks who ran out of good arguments: the "you lost me as a reader when ..."
It's a red herring. Besides, my put selling strategy has less risk than equities (about half, 6% p.a. since 2011). Exactly because I am a conservative and cautious investor. Explaining it would require more details on option math, risk management,etc., but I'm not going to waste any more space on this red herring.
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Old 01-05-2017, 04:52 PM   #64
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Originally Posted by JohnDoe123 View Post
We all seem to agree that <4% is the prudent thing to do, right?
Not we, you.

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Originally Posted by JohnDoe123 View Post
Since I'm the first to do a comprehensive analysis for the FIRE crowd I am entitled to a slightly "self-confident" title. If you come up with something better, use an even more grandiose title.
WADR, this is not a new topic, and there is quite a lot of "comprehensive analysis" already out there.
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Old 01-05-2017, 05:17 PM   #65
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What's with the sour mood here in the forum?
What you are seeing is the usual reaction when a new member signs on and immediately proclaims he's the smartest guy in the room....
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Old 01-05-2017, 06:38 PM   #66
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Old 01-05-2017, 07:20 PM   #67
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What you are seeing is the usual reaction when a new member signs on and immediately proclaims he's the smartest guy in the room....
Let me guess, it must be the same reaction as mine when I see people criticizing my work, ostensibly without reading any of it. I know how you feel!
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Old 01-05-2017, 07:35 PM   #68
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First, I've read all the posts to date in your series, and I DO like the analysis & the numbers. However, I tend to like numbers (even though they is hard) and that's not unusual in this community; lots of 'analyticals' around here.

But...

Quote:
Originally Posted by MichaelB View Post
WADR, this is not a new topic, and there is quite a lot of "comprehensive analysis" already out there.
This...

Quote:
Originally Posted by REWahoo View Post
What you are seeing is the usual reaction when a new member signs on and immediately proclaims he's the smartest guy in the room....
and this.

I would also suggest that, to truly serve the community you say you're targeting (the 30/40-something early retirees with 40yr+ retirements), you need to heed Totoro's words and address events 'outside the math.'
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Old 01-05-2017, 09:41 PM   #69
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Let me guess, it must be the same reaction as mine when I see people criticizing my work, ostensibly without reading any of it. I know how you feel!
You do say in your disclaimer that your blog is written for "entertainment purposes only" so just consider us friendly hecklers in the "entertainment" audience.
When you first started your blog in Mar. 2016, you posted in your "About" tab, "Currently, we have accumulated enough assets to fund a comfortable retirement at a 4% withdrawal rate.". By April 15, 2016 you posted that "We don't like the 4% rule". What did you do as far as research for retiring in 2018? Did you only read other "bloggers" who are posting their "entertainment purposes only" blogs? Are you sure about retiring in 2018 when you are only learning the ropes?

In your notes under "Asset Allocations 3/2016" :
You got your home equity estimate from Zillow. Don't do that! Think you said you were in banking, why would you take a "zestimate"? From their web site, "Nationally, the Zestimate has a median error rate of 4.5%, which means half of the Zestimates in an area are closer than the error percentage and half are farther off." Which half are you?

I wondered about this statement too, "Funds in the 401k are all no fee, apparently subsidized by the employer. Nice!" APPARENTLY!! Don't you know?
Enjoyed reading your blog.
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Old 01-05-2017, 10:34 PM   #70
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you do say in your disclaimer that your blog is written for "entertainment purposes only" so just consider us friendly hecklers in the "entertainment" audience.
Ha, that's a good one! And I'm dodging the tomatoes here.

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When you first started your blog in mar. 2016, you posted in your "about" tab, "currently, we have accumulated enough assets to fund a comfortable retirement at a 4% withdrawal rate.".
by april 15, 2016 you posted that "we don't like the 4% rule". What did you do as far as research for retiring in 2018?


Geez, you did a deep dive. Did you find any quotes from when I wrote for the High School newspaper? Now, there is some really embarrassing stuff!
I could retire at a 4% rule and that cash flow would allow me a very comfortable retirement. But as I write, just in the subsequent sentences:
"Why not just call it quits now? Very simple, Papa ERN is old enough to have lived through two stock market crashes in 2001 and 2008/9 and thinks that it’s wise to milk his salary and Wall Street bonus gravy train for a little longer."
So, in other words, I planted the seed of being cautious about withdrawal rates right in one of my first posts. Staying true to my beliefs. Now, when quoted out of context it may seem odd, but not when reading just a few sentences more.

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Did you only read other "bloggers" who are posting their "entertainment purposes only" blogs? Are you sure about retiring in 2018 when you are only learning the ropes?
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I've been around the block (and blogs) of finance for quite a while. I studied under Nobel Prize winners, hold a PhD, hold the CFA charter and work in asset management as a senior researcher and portfolio manager for a multi-billion dollar fund. And you're 100% right. I am still learning the ropes. I learn new stuff every day: working, blogging, reading other blogs, reading posts in this and other forums, etc.
Are you open to learning?

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in your notes under "asset allocations 3/2016" :
you got your home equity estimate from zillow. Don't do that! Think you said you were in banking, why would you take a "zestimate"? From their web site, "nationally, the zestimate has a median error rate of 4.5%, which means half of the zestimates in an area are closer than the error percentage and half are farther off." which half are you?
I use a point estimate. My experience is that units my condo building are sold pretty close to their Zestimate. So, when the exact same unit with same floor plan and same everything one floor down sells for X, and the Zestimate for that unit and my unit is X+/-0.5%, I would say I trust the Zestimate. I agree that for single-family homes there is a lot more vatriation. Two 3,000 sqft homes right next to each other might have the same Zestimate. But one is renovated the other is crummy. Hence 4.5% MER.

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[/font]i wondered about this statement too, "funds in the 401k are all no fee, apparently subsidized by the employer. Nice!" apparently!! Don't you know?
Enjoyed reading your blog.
Apparent:
(according to Webster's)
1: readily seen; exposed to sight; open to view; visible:
2: capable of being easily perceived or understood; plain or clear; obvious:

Apparently, it should be apparent to everybody here that I know with 100% certainty that my employer self-manages the index funds in our 401k at zero fees, all in-house, one floor below my office.

Thanks for stopping by my blog. Your clicks are very, very much appreciated.
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Old 01-05-2017, 10:56 PM   #71
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I get it that studies show 4% SWR with 30 years, and less for 40 years, and all that, but those numbers do not include social security benefits, so the SWR for most people can withstand something higher, no?
No, those additional income streams don't count as part of the withdrawal. They are additional income.

Some folks model a higher withdrawal rate before social security comes on line and FIRECALC will model that for you.
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Old 01-05-2017, 11:01 PM   #72
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It is close enough if your plan can withstand 12.5% reduced withdrawals. That's the % difference between 3.5% and 4.0%. For example, if your plan was to withdraw $100K, inflation adjusted, at 4.0% then it's $87.5K at 3.5%. That might be a big haircut for some.

I tend to like variable withdrawal methods, such as VPW, described over a bogleheads. The year-to-year withdrawals are not steady, but you can't run out of money before your plan. The tradeoff to that is that there are times in history where the annual withdrawals might drop below the minimum one needs to live. Depends on how much is saved, what ones minimum expenses are, SS/Pension and of course asset allocation.
Sure, which is why the early retiree is usually accepting a somewhat reduced income stream due to a longer retirement. The choices are usually - work longer to have a higher retirement income, or retire earlier on less.

BTW, the close enough comment was not comparing 3.5% to 4%, those aren't close. I was just saying 3.5% was in the ballpark for the 40 year retirement SWR.
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Old 01-06-2017, 01:04 AM   #73
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4% is probably a pretty good bet for a 30 year retirement. If you have 60 years to go probably not. But how many people have a big enough nest egg to get by on a 1 or 2% draw?
The mean dividends, interest, rental and other property income according to the Consumer Expenditure Survey for households 65+ is under $4K. So 4% or 1% is probably not going to make a big lifestyle difference to most age 65+ households.

A 2012 AARP Public Policy article states, "About three out of four (76.6%) older people in the highest income quintile had asset income, with a median of $3,454."
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Old 01-06-2017, 03:37 PM   #74
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As I mentioned before, some very influential bloggers (Mr. Money Mustache, MadFIentist, etc.) all claim the 4% rule is a-OK.
Not really. Specifically, MMM does claim it's ok but not because 4% covers a worst case scenario. He claims this because there are other factors for a very early retiree, and 4% is close enough as a first approximation.

The 4% Rule: The Easy Answer to “How Much Do I Need for Retirement?”

Snippet (but really, I recommend you read the whole thing):

Quote:
Without undue risk, and as long as you have skills that can be used to earn money eventually in the future (hint: you do), I can even advocate an SWR of 5%. In other words, get your expenses down to $25k, and you can quit your job on $500k or less. Then you can use the methods described in First Retire, then Get Rich to gradually increase your safety margin (and effectively decrease your withdrawal rate) as you age.
I'm not a MMM fan, but that piece is very well-written.

Another popular guy with a solid view:
Stocks — Part XIII: The 4% rule, withdrawal rates and how much can I spend anyway?

Quote:
Within that 3-7% range, the key to choosing your own rate has less to do with the numbers than with your personal flexibility. If as needed you can readily adjust your living expenses, find work to supplement your passive income and/or are willing and able to comfortably relocate to less expensive places, you will have a far more secure retirement no matter what rate you choose. Happier too I’d guess
Again, it's about wisdom in life once you get the ballpark right.

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Since I'm the first to do a comprehensive analysis for the FIRE crowd I am entitled to a slightly "self-confident" title. If you come up with something better, use an even more grandiose title.
You are not. Hard to claim you are a researcher if you don't do your research first. Not to mention your definition of being comprehensive is not mine.
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Old 01-06-2017, 03:57 PM   #75
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But what you seem to forget is that you won't get the average return every year. Due to the stochastic nature of equity returns and sequence of return risk, you'd have to lower the withdrawal rate.
I didn't forget that. We have different approaches. Yours is purely treating stock market returns as a stochastic process. It isn't. Pretending it is one can be useful as a first approximation, but not more than that.

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A naive approach a la withdrawal rate = expected return is not going to cut it for me.
It is not naive in my view. What is naive is trying to get a hyperprecise result that is 1) impossible to obtain and 2) in a context where hyperprecision doesn't matter.

A better approach is to get a first order approximation, and apply that to the unique context of a life of a person with a very long time horizon. We are not running a billion dollar hedge fund here, this is about decisions in context of a young persons life.

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Also, quite amazingly, you're contradicting yourself in that same post. If equities have 4.5% real yield and you want 75% or less equity weight, where's the 25%? In bonds? With 0.5% real yield right now? 0.75*4.5%+0.25*0.5%=3.5%. There goes your 4% rule.
For one, there's more than bonds, and you know that. And getting at 3.5% or 4% wasn't my point. My point was it depends on key assumptions that are unknowable, but a good first guess will put you anywhere from 3% to 5% as I wrote at the end of my post. So work with that, pick your number and move on to the other factors.
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Old 01-06-2017, 04:06 PM   #76
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My uber-ultimate study hereby declares that as an early retiree a .05% SWR or less is your best bet.
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Old 01-07-2017, 02:10 PM   #77
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Not really. Specifically, MMM does claim it's ok but not because 4% covers a worst case scenario. He claims this because there are other factors for a very early retiree, and 4% is close enough as a first approximation.

The 4% Rule: The Easy Answer to “How Much Do I Need for Retirement?”

Snippet (but really, I recommend you read the whole thing):

I'm not a MMM fan, but that piece is very well-written.
For the record: I am a huge fan of MMM on frugal living advice. The post you reference is an example of MMM when he's not at his best. The 4% fail-safe quoted there means you run out of money after 30 years. I need money for 50-60 years.
Another snippet from MMM: In the same article he later recommends 5% SWR with a 50% equity/50% bond portfolio. Best of luck with that. Of course, he doesn't have to worry about running out of money with such scary imprudent advice. But not all retirees are running a blog with annual six-figure income on the side.
Hence, I wrote my study. And apparently, I am the first one to point out these inconvenient truths in the Pfau and Kitces and Trinity Study that are spread in the personal finance echo chamber.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Totoro View Post
Another popular guy with a solid view:
Stocks — Part XIII: The 4% rule, withdrawal rates and how much can I spend anyway?

Again, it's about wisdom in life once you get the ballpark right.
Again: this time without any simulations. All just pure speculation and the reference to the Trinity Study, which should not be extrapolated to beyond 30 years. Great!


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You are not. Hard to claim you are a researcher if you don't do your research first. Not to mention your definition of being comprehensive is not mine.
I did my research and published it. You apparently forgot to read it before criticizing it. Well, you decide what you want to do. Hang on to your Trinity Study. I wish you best of luck with that. If you start your own blog and do your own research you can criticize others. Until then you don't have a lot of credibility in my book.
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Old 01-07-2017, 03:34 PM   #78
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I think it is unwise to assume a constant inflation adjusted budget for someone who has 50-60 years to live.

Research has shown that expenses peak in your 50s to 60s and start ratcheting down later in life. Personally (as someone ER'd for 8+ years) I am more interested in studies that are more atune to the way most of us live our lives.

I use a percentage (4%) of portfolio (60/40) at Jan 1st of the year as a guide. (I am well aware of the advantages & pitfalls)

I think some of the methodologies that use both life expectancy and market returns are better than the inflation adjusted SWR methods. Same goes for RMD based SWR methodologies & ones that calculate an SWR each year taking life expectancy into account.

A method that uses market returns, life expectancy (single & couple) as well as a spending curve (ala David Blanchett and Bernicke's studies) would be way way better than anything we have today.

I hope you research these areas and come up with a study that is truly useful to the "practicing" early retiree.
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Old 01-07-2017, 04:03 PM   #79
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In the interest of keeping me sleeping well I read post #1 and the link - I'm at 3% with a 50/40/10 portfolio. Looks like I'm good to go for 50 or 60 years. Not reading anymore as it might make me face a new (and unpleasant) reality.
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Old 01-07-2017, 04:33 PM   #80
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Some posters here are unduly harsh to the author of this new study. He extended the Trinity work to take it from 30 years to 60 years. Is that not a valid question to ask, and to seek an answer for?

The longer duration of an early retiree living off his investment creates a new problem. In another thread, I saw that some posters mistook the 4% WR as the rate that guarantees perpetuity of the portfolio; they did not know that the Trinity study authors expected to deplete the portfolio in 30 years.

So, the SWR has to be less than 4% for retirement periods of longer than 30 years. How low does it have to be? And that's what JohnDoe123 tried to find out. His answer: 3.5%WR.

I will have to go back to his Web pages for more details. A problem remains with any SWR study: we have to depend on the future looking like the past. This is true whether we play historical data back through a simulation, or coming up with a stochastic model which is of course also based on the past. Sixty years is a long time, considering that the history of the USA is only 240 years, and we did not have a stock market like the current one.

Things are happening faster now too, and who knows how the US economy is 50 or 60 years from now, so who can model it? I will not be alive to find out, that's for sure.
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