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The 4 percent rule, which says most retirees can safely spend 4 percent of their retirement savings annually and not run out of money, has been under a lot of scrutiny lately for a variety of good reasons, including the obvious: Interest rates are lousy.
Roger Nusbaum, who is an Arizona-based financial adviser and chief of his local volunteer fire department, reduces the rule to very simple retirement planning math. If you have saved $1 million, you can confidently take out $30,000 to $50,000 a year for as long as you live. But if you feel compelled to spend $80,000 to $100,000, there’s a big likelihood your money is going to run out while you still need it.