• Getting Ready to Retire
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  • Getting Ready to Retire
  • Social Security
  • Getting Ready to Retire
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ANSWER: False.

According to this popular retirement-spending strategy, you can safely take 4% of your total portfolio in the first year of retirement and the same amount, adjusted for inflation, every year afterward.

But the rule, based on an analysis of returns over a series of 30-year periods starting in 1926, doesn't reflect current and future conditions. Entering retirement in a bear market and taking 4% from your nest egg could cripple your portfolio. Rather than follow the rule blindly, consider lowering the percentage or skipping the inflation adjustment in years when the market performs poorly.

On the flip side, you might be able to increase the percentage of your withdrawal when the good times roll.

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