I personally think that a 4% withdrawal rate is still fine for most situations (though not necessarily all, since every situation is, of course, different), assuming you have a properly allocated and diversified portfolio that you are drawing from. I know that there has been some speculation and I have read some things recently suggesting that the 4% rule may not apply as well as when it was first devised.
It's long but the gist is that the 4% rule is actually pretty conservative, and the fact that it has held up quite well over the last 15 years shows (in addition to other bad market periods) how bad the market returns were during the time when the "4% Rule" was created. In other words, the 4% rule is actually quite sound and while there is no guarantee that is should not be reviewed and analyzed moving forward, it should still work more often than not.
Smart Retirement Income Planning dictates that a retiree match up their fixed expenses in retirement with fixed assets/income. You can recieve a much higher life-time income payout, and enjoy a smooter ride by looking at time sensitive asset allocation strategies, or flooring + upside strategies rather than the traditional 4% rule which has proven to be detremintal to retirees portfolios, especially with sequence of return risk.
A propery structured time-sensitive asset allocation model can usually provide you with 6%-7% inflation adjusted lifetime income.
Make sure you seek out a compenent Retirement Income advisor, not just a financial planner that knows how to integrate all of your retirement assets:
The truth is there is no good rule. There are just too many variables - inflation, market performance, interest rates, life style, sanity, you name it. The answer is personal. Talk to someone that understands the variables and can explain them to you and come up with you're own calcuation.
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