Livens & Reed, PLLC

Elderly planning and the 4 percent retirement rule

When saving for retirement, many seniors are diligent, but studies show it may be hard to decide how much money one will need to live comfortably during the golden years. When considering elderly planning, there is a simple tool that can help in making wise long-term financial choices. In Texas, taking the time to research the 4 percent rule may help seniors plump up their nest eggs.

In 1994, during a study at Trinity University, the 4 percent rule was introduced. This rule suggests that retirees withdraw only 4 percent from nest eggs during the first year of retirement and adjust this amount each year thereafter. Still, there is no guarantee that the money will last, or that the 4 percent rule will continue to benefit individuals throughout retirement.   

Volatile market shifts and rising interest rates play a large part in investment values. Today's lower rates will not produce the same amount of income as in the past, and accounts may not replenish funds after yearly withdrawals. Retirees may benefit by shifting investment allocations in stocks to help retirement money continue to grow. Depressed markets and crashes can also shrink retirement cushions, but if the market skyrockets, retirement savings will increase.

Experts suggest not including inflation in yearly withdrawals if possible and to reevaluate expenses before withdrawals each year. Actual living expenses may decrease as we age, but healthcare expenses will not. In Texas, seniors may want to seek professional advice from an attorney adept in elderly planning for retirement. Social Security may not be enough to sustain most individuals, but saving and proper planning may help seniors reach their retirement goals.

Source:, "3 Serious Problems With the 4% Retirement Rule", Selena Maranjian, Nov. 12, 2017

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