Originally Posted by aaronc879
No one on this forum knows if they successfully retired forever. You don't know that until you are dead.
True. However, one can still strive to lessen the odds of having one's retirement disrupted.
The general guidance has been that a SWR in the range of 3-4% was "safe". However, I personally did not not consider retiring unless our SWR was closer to 2% (having a pension, even non-COLA, helped that). In my opinion a required 4% SWR is not good enough these days.
Also, we targeted our retirement expenses at $125K, as that would give us a generous lifestyle (our basic survival expenses are $80K), and was well below what FIRECalc (and other calculators) said our 95% success rate expenses were.
Since retiring in mid-2018, our cash flow has been less than half of what we expected, and we have been living very comfortably (a lot of comfortable travel, a 3rd car, etc.).
So - just my opinion, what ever FIRECalc says, use it in conjunction with other retirement calculators to get a better overall picture. Also, it cannot hurt to pad your expenses in modeling, to see what would happen if you underestimated them, for example, by 20%.