The Safe Withdrawal Rate Series: A Guide for First-Time Readers

We’re back home in Washington State after our epic 2019 Summer Tour. Four months on the road, mostly in Europe with a quick visit in Morocco for a week! In early August, while traveling I almost fell out of my chair (or was it my bed?) when I read that my little blog is nominated for not one but two (!) Plutus Awards this year. “Best Financial Independence/Early Retirement Blog” and my work on the Safe Withdrawal Rate research was nominated in the “Best Series: Blog, Podcast, or Video” category, how awesome is that? So, please accept my deep gratitude: thanks to everyone who took the time to submit a ballot and nominate my blog! I’m very humbled and honored. Whether it’s a Plutus Award nomination or just a friendly comment or email, thanks for supporting my work here! It always makes my day! 🙂


Talking about the Safe Withdrawal Rate Series, I often get feedback like this one, let me paraphrase:

“The entire series is obviously very helpful but also a bit intimidating. As a first-time reader, where should you even start?”

I hear you! I totally hear you! So, I wrote a new “landing page” for the Series that has a summary of all 31 posts, grouped by major topic and also a few suggestions for readers what to read depending on preferences and where you are with your early retirement planning. There are two ways to get to this new summary page:

1: Click this new link:

2: Even easier, when you’re anywhere on the ERN blog webpage, simply go to the top of the page and click the new menu option “Safe Withdrawal Rate Series” – see below!


So, if you get a chance, please check out that new landing page and let me know what you think! And please continue sharing the SWR Series everywhere people discuss safe withdrawal rates, ideally using that new landing page link! Many thanks in advance!


13 thoughts on “The Safe Withdrawal Rate Series: A Guide for First-Time Readers

  1. It would be great if there would be a PDF with all the series combined (like after the first couple) to read while laying on the beach 😀

  2. Congratulations on the nomination! I had read the work of Dr Wade Pfau a few years ago and since then your blog has made retirement withdrawal concepts easier for the layperson.

  3. The safe withdrawal series is an opus I found highly valuable in setting the framework for our retirement decumulation. We can comfortably reduce our spending to 2.5 – 3.0% of our investments if the market tanks (and we have ~2 years of expenses in cash) but your Safe Withdrawal Series has shown we can likely spend a bit more freely with low risk of outliving our investments. For that I thank you heartily!

    Changing topics, and more of a response to an earlier post, the question we’ve probably been asked most often about “early” retirement (we’re both mid-50s) is: “aren’t you bored?” Like you, I find the question to be more illuminating about the asker’s imagination (or lack thereof) as it is a big, beautiful world out there and a lifespan twice the typical human’s still wouldn’t be enough to exhaust the possibilities.

    I’m reminded of an anecdote where someone at a papal audience asks the pope: “how long should I spend in Rome to know the city well?” The pope’s response: “two days is good, two weeks is better, and two years is not long enough.”

    That’s how we feel about retirement — it actually isn’t long enough!

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