Strategies to Pump Up Your Lifetime Income

Low bond yields have raised troubling questions about whether the 4% withdrawal rule still holds up. Here is what works, and what doesn't, when it comes to stretching a retirement nest egg.

Retirees relying on a popular strategy for drawing money from their portfolios may find the well running dry far sooner than expected. It may be time for them to find a more reliable approach to tap their savings.

Many retirees and financial advisers use the "4% rule" to calculate how much to spend from a portfolio each year in retirement. The rule is simple: Retirees who spend 4% of their initial wealth from a balanced stock-and-bond portfolio, adjusting the dollar amount annually to keep pace with inflation, can be highly confident that their portfolio will survive 30 years.

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Eleanor Laise
Senior Editor, Kiplinger's Retirement Report
Laise covers retirement issues ranging from income investing and pension plans to long-term care and estate planning. She joined Kiplinger in 2011 from the Wall Street Journal, where as a staff reporter she covered mutual funds, retirement plans and other personal finance topics. Laise was previously a senior writer at SmartMoney magazine. She started her journalism career at Bloomberg Personal Finance magazine and holds a BA in English from Columbia University.