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A fresh look at the 4% rule

On Behalf of | May 19, 2023 | Estate Planning |

Estate planning for retirement will likely involve the best way to spend your accumulated savings. If you spend too much too quickly, you risk running out of money, but if you do not spend enough you risk shortchanging your lifestyle.

The 4% rule for spending has remained a foundation for retirement spending for decades.

The strengths of the rule

Information from CNBC describes this popular guideline as spending 4% of your retirement investments each year and then increasing that amount each year by the rate of inflation.  For example, if you have $500,000 in retirement savings, you can spend 4% of that in your first year of retirement, or $20,000.  Each subsequent year, you would increase spending a little to account for inflation.

Financial planners have evaluated this equation and say that it will likely help your money last for 30 years. They have tested this by looking at past economic conditions such as periods of high growth and recessions, as well as the make-up of the investment mix of the savings.

The shortcomings of the rule

The weakness of the rule resides in the idea that historic economic conditions will not necessarily look similar in the future. Also, each person has a unique mix of needs and wants in retirement that might not accommodate the 4% rule. Additionally, people, in general, tend to live longer than in the past, which might put added pressure on this method.

Estate planning and making your money last in retirement have many components. A well-thought-out plan allows you to maximize your financial resources.