Philadelphia Reflections

The musings of a physician who has served the community for over six decades

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How to Live Off an Investment Portfolio

Many studies have been done. The rule is this ...

If you have a well-diversified investment portfolio, and

  • You want to live off the proceeds
    • ... for a long time (20+ years)

You must withdraw no more than 4% per year.


  1. If your expenses are greater than 4% of your portfolio
    • Reduce your expenses
          and/or
    • Find outside sources of income
    or you will run out of money
  2. If your investment portfolio is not well diversified it will not last as long
    (in other words, don't try to beat the market)
  3. If your investment portfolio has high fees it will not last as long



Sample Diversified Portfolio
Asset Class Symbol
US Total Market VTI
Europe DevelopedVGK
Asia Developed VPL
Emerging Markets VWO
US REITs VNQ
Commodities DJP
US Gov't Long TLT
TIPS TIP

Plus a money market for cash



More here






Originally published: Saturday, March 06, 2010; most-recently modified: Thursday, September 16, 2021

At last! Someone who understands! Thanks for poitsng!
Posted by: Jonni   |   Sep 6, 2011 3:16 PM

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