Is the 4% Rule obsolete? Jul 31st

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Is the 4% Rule obsolete?


Over the half decade I’ve written this column and attempted to practice what it preaches, a central pillar has been the so-called 4% Rule. As originally postulated by Certified Financial Planner and author William Bengen, that’s the rule of thumb that retirees can safely withdraw 4% of the value of their portfolio each year without fear of running out of money in retirement. (That’s the gist, although you have to make adjustments for inflation.)
Problem is, with “lower for longer” interest rates and the spectre of negative interest rates, is it still realistic for retirees to count on this guideline? Personally, I find it useful, even though I mentally take it down to 3% to adjust for my own pessimism about rates and optimism that I will live a long, healthy life. I polled several sources to see if they still believe in the 4% Rule, or whether a 3% or even 2% rule might be more appropriate now.
“I think the 4% Rule is a reasonable rule of thumb,” says financial planner Aaron Hector, vice-president of Calgary-based Doherty & Bryant Financial Consultants…

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