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Episode from the podcastBiggerPockets Money Podcast

Are FIRE Naysayers Bad at Math? Yes. with Michael Kitces

Released Monday, 13th April 2020
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Michael Kitces joins us today to talk about Early Retirement - and how the recent stock market movement affects the FIRE Community and the 4% rule.
We spend a lot of time on the 4% rule - including this graph which illustrates what Michael discusses - basically, there is an ultra-high probability that you will come to the end of 30 years with MORE money than you started out with, and an extremely LOW chance you’ll spend it all. In fact, only one time does the retirement fund hit zero - and even that isn’t until year 31!
Since the FIRE Movement is based on the 4% rule, we wanted to hear from Michael, the Research Nerd Supreme, what he feels about it. “...historical safe withdrawal rates aren’t based on historical averages. They’re based on historical worst case scenarios.”
Yes, we’re seeing some pretty big movement in the market, and yes, it can make you think. This episode provides some pretty powerful reassurance that “every little thing, is gonna be all right.”
If you are worrying about your financial future, if you have money or want more, this powerful episode is a can’t miss, absolutely-must-listen edition of BiggerPockets Money.
In This Episode We Cover:
  • The origin of 4% rule
  • Three different time periods that trigger the 4% number
  • Safe withdrawal rates
  • Different 4% rule scenario
  • Bucket strategy
  • Key assumptions that start crapping up on modeling or evaluating the short term cash bucket
  • The right time to start looking at bonds
  • Constant mid-course adjustments
  • What a retirement red zone is
  • Bond tent strategy
  • Safe withdrawal rate research
  • Guardrail strategy
  • Smart money moves during this market
  • Dollar cost averaging
  • And SO much more!


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