The budget isn’t set in stone. In fact, in 2016, the McCurrys revisited their portfolio and realized they could increase their retirement budget to $40,000 a year. On the flip side, they can “always trim back on spending in some areas if our investment portfolio performed really poorly or we had an unexpected expense in one category,” Justin notes.
For now, their retirement budget is $40,000 a year. You can read more about how they made that work as a family of five in 2016 here.
Justin uses the “4 percent rule” — the slightly controversial adage that’s used to help you determine the amount you can withdraw from your retirement savings each year without running out.
For example, the McCurrys had about $1.15 million in their investment portfolio at the start of 2016. Justin explains: “Applying our magical four percent variable withdrawal rate to the $1,150,000 current value gives us an annual withdrawal of $46,000. Add to that an estimate of $20,000 in Root of Good, freelancing, and consulting income for 2016, and we could spend up to $66,000 in 2016.”
And, of course, just because they can spend that much doesn’t mean they will.