He called it a “cheap gimmick,” so I challenged him to a duel. Strap in, folks, we’ve got a doozie today…
It’s always good when two people with strong opinions can respectfully debate a topic that they’re both passionate about, especially when they disagree. It’s even better when they do it publicly. Today, we’re trying something new.
A public debate on the merits of The Bucket Strategy.
It all started a few weeks ago when I published “The Bucket Strategy In A Bear Market.” Not only did the article generate a good discussion with the readers (77 comments), but it also led to a flurry of activity on Twitter.
Ultimately, it was this Tweet chain with Big ERN that led to today’s article, with the title derived from this tweet:
Never one to back down from a good debate, I sent Karsten a private IM and proposed we debate the topic in a series of posts. The first post would appear on The Retirement Manifesto and a second post would appear on Karsten’s blog Early Retirement Now.
Fortunately, he agreed and today we launch Part I of the debate:
“Is the bucket strategy a cheap gimmick, or a sound strategy for retirement?”
Big ERN vs. The Retirement Manifesto in their first public debate on the merits of The Bucket Strategy.
This is going to be fun.
Is The Bucket Strategy A Cheap Gimmick?
The ground rules are simple: Each contestant will alternate answering the question first, with the other responding. The reader also has a responsibility: we ask that you respond to this post with your questions/comments, which we’ll address in the second post on Early Retirement Now later this month.
With that, let’s get started.
Q1: What Is Your Definition Of The Bucket Strategy?
In its most basic form, I define the bucket strategy as a simplified method to consider when you’ll need various assets in your portfolio and invest them based on the resulting timeline. The main purpose is to mitigate Sequence of Return Risk (SORR) by attempting to avoid selling stocks after a downturn, using cash as a buffer to allow stocks to rebound while maintaining a retiree’s ability to fund their retirement spending. Essentially, it’s a time segmentation of assets based on when they’re needed to cover retirement spending. I’ve outlined the details of this structure in The Bucket Strategy Series (my most-read series of posts, ever).
There are nuances between how folks structure their buckets, I’ll use my strategy as an example:
- Bucket 1 applies to the first 3 years of spending, and is kept in cash. When the markets are doing well, I refill bucket 1 every quarter by selling either stocks or bonds in an amount equal to my spending since the last refill. When the markets are doing poorly, I allow Bucket 1 to draw down and skip the refill, which allows me to avoid selling equities or bonds in a downturn.
- Bucket 2 is intended for years 4-9 and is typically kept in bonds (though I also consider REITS in this bucket). I’ve recently been building a bond ladder to avoid interest rate risk on the bonds held in this bucket.
- Bucket 3 is for long-term growth (10 years+) and is kept in equities or alternative assets. The following graphic summarizes the approach. It shows some of the typical assets held in each bucket and the target range for each bucket. I link each line to my Net Worth spreadsheet to easily track the status of the buckets during my Year-End Financial Review (for example only, not my real numbers):
I like to distinguish between three different flavors that we can all consider a bucket strategy:
1) A Strategic Asset Allocation (SAA) with specific constant weights assigned to asset classes like stocks, real estate, bonds, cash/money market, commodities, etc. The allocation can be as coarse as, say, 60% stocks, 40% bonds, or as detailed as you want, i.e., you cover all the different sub-asset classes like U.S. Stocks vs. non-US developed vs. Emerging markets. Or a money market fund vs. nominal U.S. Government bonds at all the various maturities. We can also add TIPS, U.S. Corporate bonds – investment-grade and junk-rated – and international bonds into the mix. If we view the asset classes as buckets, then there is your bucket strategy. If you have a 75% stock, 15% bond, and 10% money market portfolio, you have a 75% stock bucket, 15% bond bucket, and 10% cash bucket. I call that an asset allocation. Others may call this a bucket strategy.
2) A Glidepath (GP), i.e., changing asset weights purely as a function of time rather than based on market signals. For example, a Target Date Fund would do this. It’s done passively, based on the target retirement date. You can also implement a glidepath in retirement, which would ideally take the shape of a “reverse glidepath,” i.e., you shift up the equity weight over time. The glidepath is passive and systematic; you don’t have to be a market-timing hedge fund trader to implement this!
3) Tactical Asset Allocation (TAA) would involve intentional deviations from the strategic asset allocation weights. For example, in response to a bear market, you might deplete your cash bucket first so you don’t touch your equity holdings. And then sell stocks to replenish the cash bucket when the market has recovered.
Note that these are not mutually exclusive. In fact, you might implement the bucket flavors all at once, i.e., pick an initial asset allocation (1), then shift those target weights as you progress through your retirement (2), but also tactically deviate from the target weights to capture, for example, market valuations and market momentum (3).
Q2: How Do You Think About Asset Allocation In Conjunction With The Bucket Strategy?
I don’t employ a bucket strategy. But I can certainly explain my ideas on asset allocation. As I’ve written on my blog, younger investors with a long enough “runway” to retirement can justify a simple 100% equity portfolio. Suppose you are risk-tolerant and even have some flexibility in your retirement date. In that case, you can hold 100% equities until retirement; see my post “Pre-Retirement Glidepaths: How crazy is it to hold 100% equities until retirement? – SWR Series Part 43.” That certainly worked for me.
In retirement, however, even someone like me with a high risk tolerance needs to scale back the risk exposure. I hold private equity real estate funds comprising roughly 12% of our portfolio. We invest the remainder in liquid assets, about two-thirds in equity index funds, and one-third in a portfolio holding floating-rate preferred shares. I like the floating-rate feature because of the current uncertainty about the path of interest rates. Preferred shares, if you wonder, are a hybrid between stocks and bonds. Most of them pay a qualified, i.e., tax-advantaged dividend. But preferred shares also have features of a bond, like a fixed notional redemption value, usually $25 a share.
Nevertheless, to account for the significant correlation between preferred shares and equities, I consider the allocation in my financial asset portfolio closer to 75/25 than 67/33. I also trade CBOE options on the S&P 500 index for additional income in the account holding preferred shares. So far in retirement, I could fund our retirement expenses solely out of the dividend plus options trading income in that one taxable account while not even touching the other two-thirds of the portfolio.
In my mind, the critical element is having a plan to ensure you’re being intentional as you make adjustments in the asset allocation of your diversified portfolio. The Bucket Strategy, with a cash reserve for short-term spending needs, bonds as an intermediate buffer, and stocks/alternatives to defend against longer-term inflation, actually defines (initially) your targeted asset allocation based on the size of the buckets you design.
Using Karsten’s definition of SAA and TAA, I would say that the buckets are originally designed using SAA (fixed %’s), but the allocations are not intended to stay constant with time, so it has elements of TAA (deviations in the %) as well. Finally, due to the dynamics of keeping Bucket 1 constant at 3 years of spending, the portfolio would also exhibit elements of the Glidepath strategy over a longer period of time. I’ll discuss this concept in more detail below.
For the sake of an example, let’s assume you hold 3 years of cash (Bucket 1), 6 years of bonds (Bucket 2), and everything else in stocks (Bucket 3). If your portfolio equals 30 years of spending, the asset allocation becomes:
- Cash 3 Years 10%
- Bonds 6 Years 20%
- Stocks 21 Years 70%
- Total 30 Years 100%
In a growing market, the rebalancing would consist of selling either bonds or stocks (based on which has the best performance in the preceding quarter) to refill the cash bucket. If the growth of the bonds/stocks were greater than the ~3-4% Safe Withdrawal Rate (SWR), the asset allocation of Bonds and Stocks would grow since the portfolio would now exceed 30 years of spending (growth rate exceeding withdrawals = growth of portfolio). As the portfolio grows and the cash bucket is held at 3 years of cash, the % allocation of cash would gradually decline from the initial 10% target.
Following is an example, assuming the portfolio grows to 33 years of spending (a 10% increase over time, net of inflation), assuming the growth comes from equities and the bond growth equaled the withdrawal rate:
- Cash 3 Years 9%
- Bonds 6 Years 18%
- Stocks 24 Years 73%
- Total 33 Years 100%
Theoretically, a strict application of The Bucket Strategy, with 3 years maximum in Bucket 1, would replicate a Reverse Glide Path with time, where the equity allocation would increase as the portfolio grows over time and the retiree moves further away from the early retirement years, with a corresponding reduction in SORR. Alternatively, the retiree could decide to maintain a strict 10/20/70 portfolio, which would increase the size of Bucket 1 beyond the 3 years initially covered.
In the event of a bear market, an intentional drawdown could reduce the cash allocation to 0% in 3 years. Therefore, The Bucket Strategy employs a combination of all three of the asset allocations Karsten outlined above. On this point, we agree, as referenced by Karsten’s final paragraph in the “Definition” section above.
Q3: Is The Bucket Strategy a Sound Strategy or a Cheap Gimmick?
From my personal experience (having used The Bucket Strategy for the past 4+ years of my retirement in both a bull and bear market environment) it’s a sound strategy for the retiree who wants an easy-to-manage system for funding their retirement spending needs. The purpose of the strategy is to have a pre-defined approach for utilizing your investment portfolio to fund your retirement spending, regardless of market direction. It takes the emotion out of managing your investments and avoids selling in a bear market. Also, in response to Karsten’s original tweet, the goal is not to “generate Alpha” (excess returns), but to create an easy-to-implement system that meets your spending needs in retirement.
I’m not sure why Big ERN likes the moniker of “Cheap Gimmick”.
To me, it works, and that’s what matters.
By holding a pre-defined amount in Bucket 1, the strategy reduces the worry of a market downturn and builds a defense against SORR. One could argue that 3 years is insufficient to ride out an extreme bear, but I would respond that one of the strengths of the bucket strategy is its ability to be adjusted to meet the retiree’s risk profile. If the retiree feels 3 years of cash is insufficient, they can resize Bucket 1 to match their risk tolerance. Also, by maintaining a diversified portfolio, it’s likely the retiree will have options within their portfolio to do periodic refills even during a bear market (that’s the reason I keep 10% of my portfolio in “Alternatives”).
I’ve heard from many readers who have “too much cash” and are trying to time the market to invest the excess. The bucket strategy takes care of this issue by directing any cash in excess of the previously defined Bucket 1 to be invested in either Bucket 2 or Bucket 3 (typically, I’ll make this decision by also reviewing asset allocation).
Personally, I find it easier to focus on keeping Bucket 1 full, and use asset allocation as a guide for which asset class to sell for the refill (or, not sell if the allocation for a particular class is at the low end of your range). Watching the balance in Bucket 1 is, to me, easier than constantly monitoring asset allocation, and yet it accomplishes the same goal.
Placing a cap on the size of Bucket 1 ensures sufficient exposure to higher-risk assets to offset long-term inflation risk. While Big ERN discusses the complexities of rebalancing to achieve Asset Allocation, the reality is the bucket strategy accomplishes the same result with less effort. If stocks are up (asset allocation increases), they would sell some stocks and keep Bucket 1 full. If stocks and bonds are down (asset allocation decreases), they would draw down Bucket 1, helping to protect their targeted asset allocation. In either market environment, the adjustments to Bucket 1 also help rebalance the asset allocation. I would always recommend reviewing asset allocation as you’re making refill or drawdown decisions related to Bucket 1.
Also, the strategy encourages buying into equities if a retiree generates some unexpected additional cash (side hustle income, inheritance, etc). Once Bucket 1 and Bucket 2 are filled to the pre-defined cap, the strategy requires a retiree to invest any “excess” cash into equities, as I did in 2022 and explained in The Bucket Strategy In A Bear Market.
To Big ERN’s comments about TAA and SAA, I’ll admit I find all of that a bit confusing. I like to keep things simple, and in my experience, The Bucket Strategy does just that. I maintain ranges for my asset allocation targets, and I make my refill/drawdown decisions based on how my actual allocation is performing relative to those ranges.
To me, that’s not a gimmick, but just a sound decision-making process.
I’ve written a blog post on that topic in my Safe Withdrawal Rate Series, calling bucket strategies a “cheap gimmick” and “window dressing,” and I figure that’s where the question originates. Let me state that all three flavors listed above have elements of both a Sound Strategy and a Cheap Gimmick, so this is never an either/or issue.
1) SAA: Most retirees don’t have additional income from blogs, podcasts, or spouses in the workforce. I finance 80-90% of our retirement budget by withdrawing funds from our investment accounts. If you fall into that same “bucket,” pardon the pun, you will likely not be able to have 100% equities in your portfolio. It would be best if you had some diversifying assets, like safe longer-term government bonds or short-term instruments like money market funds. And I know bonds haven’t done very well in 2022, but in some of the past market disasters, 1929, 2000, 2008, and 2020, they did provide extraordinary diversification benefits.
In any case, how do you go about picking your strategic asset allocation? My safe withdrawal rate research shows that most retirees should limit their equity allocation to between 60% and 80% and keep the remaining percentage in lower-risk, diversifying assets, like fixed-income. Historically, this mix of safe vs. diversifying assets has provided a robust hedge against even the worst economic and financial disasters while, at the same time, keeping enough high-return equities in the portfolio to survive a multi-decade retirement. As mentioned before, I’m close to a 75/25 portfolio.
Of course, you could have also developed your SAA through a bucket strategy logic. It would typically involve calibrating the size of your safe asset buckets to the length of a bear market. So, for example, if your withdrawal rate is 4% and you want to hedge against a five to ten-year market downturn, avoiding any withdrawals from your stock portfolio, you would again generate this 20% to 40% safe asset weight. So, while the final outcome of the bucket approach may be a Sound Strategy, it still feels like a gimmick and window dressing. Here’s why:
- Since we’re talking about the SAA, there is no depletion of safe assets during the market downturn. The SAA would involve regularly rebalancing to the target weights. So, if you kept 40% in safe assets at the beginning of your retirement, you withdraw 4% p.a., and the market downturn indeed lasts ten years, then you will still have 40% safe assets after ten years, only in a smaller portfolio. Depleting specific asset buckets over time would fall into the second category. See my thoughts on the glidepath below!
- Many of the features attributed to the bucket strategy are merely due to portfolio rebalancing. For example, if equities are down but your fixed-income portfolio is up, moved sideways, or at least didn’t fall as much as your equity portion, you will effectively take money out of the safe assets. If equities are down enough, you might even “buy the dip.” In other words, you might even take additional funds from the safe bucket and shift them into equities to reverse the asset class drift. Thus, regular rebalancing while using this SAA approach will generate the ooohhh and aaahhh-inspiring features often falsely attributed to the bucket strategy.
- There is still a lot of confusion about how long stock market downturns have lasted historically. Some folks in the personal finance community declare, very confidently but incorrectly, that you need only a few years’ worth of safe assets because that’s the length of historical bear markets. Nothing could be farther from the truth! At the end of the bear market, equities are still severely underwater. If we define the length of the market downturns as the time until the portfolio reaches the initial level again, net of CPI inflation and net of withdrawals, we look at much more than a few years. As I pointed out in my 2019 post “Who’s Afraid of a Bear Market?” it can take 20+ years to recover from an equity market downturn if we account for inflation and withdrawals. No cash bucket will last that long, so the bucket strategy is only an incomplete hedge against Sequence Risk.
2) Glidepaths: I have already written two posts about glidepaths in my series (Part 19 and Part 20), so please check them out. My research found that in retirement, you want to start with a cautious allocation and shift back into a higher percentage for equities over time. This approach would help thread the needle by partially hedging against Sequence Risk in the near term but also providing enough growth in your portfolio in the long term to last a multi-decade retirement. Note that this “reverse” glidepath is the opposite of the pre-retirement asset allocation path, where you shift out of equities and into bonds on the way to retirement. See Part 43 of my series. Also note that the reverse glidepath is at odds with the approach taken by most, if not all, target-date fund (TDF) providers, which is one of the reasons I don’t recommend TDFs post-retirement. Also, see my post “What’s wrong with Target Date Funds?”
My simulations show that the reverse glidepath can indeed increase your safe withdrawal rate. In other words, a glidepath is a “Sound Strategy” to deal with retirement risk. Unfortunately, it is also a gimmick. You will not be able to escape the effects of Sequence Risk completely. Even with the benefit of 20/20 hindsight, i.e., knowing which one of the glidepath specifications performed best in historical simulations, you would have been able to raise your safe withdrawal rate by only a fraction of a percentage point. For example, where a 75/25 portfolio had a failsafe withdrawal rate of 3.25% over 60 years, a glidepath going from 60/40 to 100/0 over the first 100 months of retirement would have raised the failsafe rate to about 3.47%. That is nothing to sneeze at because it implies an increase in the retirement budget by almost 7%.
So, if you called that 40% bond portion your “bond bucket” that you systematically depleted through the bear market, then your bucket approach enhanced your retirement strategy, but you cannot miraculously revive the 4% rule with just a glidepath.
3) TAA: The Holy Grail of finance is to tactically shift between the major asset classes and thereby beat the boring old SAA. The problem with this approach? It’s hard; if it were easy, everyone would do it. I worked in GTAA (global tactical asset allocation) for ten years at BNY Mellon Asset Management. I can confirm that timing the relative outperformance of major asset classes is not trivial, certainly not in the most comprehensive models like I worked on, covering all asset classes in all global markets (stocks, bonds, currencies, commodities). And not even in the most basic TAA challenge; timing the equity risk premium, i.e., allocating between risky equities and zero-risk short-term investments, e.g., money market, 3-month T-Bill, etc.
What’s my assessment of TAA, then? It is a sound strategy if you can add “alpha” (=uncorrelated excess return) to your portfolio. It is helpful if you shift out of equities right before the bear market and back into equities right before the next bull market takes off again. But it’s also a gimmick because this market timing ability is elusive to most investors.
How will the average retiree time the equity risk premium? Yes, I know, you only sell equities when they are up, you live off the cash balance when equities are down, and you may even buy the dips. That’s all great in theory but creates some severe headaches in practice. For example, suppose the equity drawdown is long enough and gradual enough. In that case, it might have been better to liquidate equities early when prices had only fallen moderately rather than at the bottom of the equity market. Also, what kind of signals will people use to determine if it’s a good time to liquidate equities vs. cash balances? Valuation signals based on PE ratios, the Shiller CAPE, etc., are notoriously unreliable as a short-term equity market timing signal. Trend-following/Momentum would have worked to a degree in some of the past bear markets, but it also tends to create many false signals. I have some simulations on how trend-following would have performed in safe withdrawal simulations (to be published in my SWR Series, stay tuned), and the results are not that great. Like squeezing a balloon, you alleviated some of the Sequence Risk in 1929-1932, but you aggravated the Sequence Risk during the choppy market post-1937 when momentum strategies got whipsawed.
In the best case, TAA will be a hit-or-miss for the average retail investor. In the worst case, you might consistently end up with significant deviations from the target weights and then panic-sell equities and replenish your risk-free assets right around the bottom of the bear market, exacerbating Sequence Risk. Yes, I know; in hindsight, it’s obvious when to de-risk and re-risk after seeing the asset returns. But getting this right in real-time is challenging. You’ll compete with professional asset managers employing sophisticated models, an army of PhDs, and experienced traders.
Another reason TAA is a gimmick in the retirement context is the sizing of your tactical asset allocation deviations from the SAA. Most retirees would not consider moving their entire portfolio back and forth between 100% equities and 100% money market funds. So, imagine you have your SAA equity weight at 70%. You are comfortable moving that weight +/-3%, so you’ll be between 67% and 73% equities, as in Fritz’s example above, where he allowed the equity weight to drift to 73%. If you add an annual 1% “timing alpha” and apply that to only a 3% portion of your portfolio, you will add 0.03% extra return to your portfolio. That’s better than nothing, but if your baseline SWR is 3.25%, your timing alpha of 0.03% would not miraculously raise your rate to 4% or more. And all that assumes you can add 1% alpha through market timing, which you can’t do systematically because if you could, you would have already done so during the accumulation period!
Fritz never directly endorsed TAA. Quite the contrary, in our post here, he explicitly rejected the TAA alpha generation idea. But I also wonder if Fritz wants to have it both ways because, indirectly, he certainly appears to talk about TAA market timing alpha. Especially to the casual reader here, some of Fritz’s phrases, like “buying the dip” or “SoRR insurance,” could be misunderstood as the Bucket Strategy miraculously allowing you to time the market and beat a passive SAA approach. Very often, the deviations from the simple SAA that are caused by a bucket strategy have the same mechanics as a momentum TAA approach. As I said before, even your SAA with regular rebalancing will already provide features that have a TAA flavor. Most notably, you may indeed buy the dip by just rebalancing back into equities during a bear market because of the drift in your asset weights. You may take withdrawals out of cash and bonds when equities are down. And take withdrawals out of equities if the bull market continues. But it’s all SAA not TAA. And it’s what my fixed-weight SWR simulations already assume – no need to add all those bucket strategy bells and whistles.
This has been a fun exercise, and I appreciate Karsten’s willingness to play along. We’re both passionate about finding the best path through retirement and think about the topic a lot more than the typical retiree. It’s beneficial to have a forum where people with differing opinions can have a respectful debate on their positions. Society seems to have lost that ability in many arenas, and we’ve lost a great source of intellectual growth in the process. Hopefully, today’s debate has been of value to you, the reader.
I have the utmost respect for Karsten’s work and genuinely respect his clear mathematical intellect. For the record, I’ll be the first to say that he’s the smarter man, and I’ve never suggested his work is anything short of excellent. However, with regard to my preference for The Bucket Strategy, it’s driven by my belief that the “typical” reader is seeking a methodology for managing the Withdrawal Phase that is relatively easy to understand and implement while providing some level of protection against Sequence of Return risk.
A system must be implemented and managed to be effective, and I’ve found The Bucket Strategy to be a system that’s easy to implement and eliminates emotion from the handling of one’s personal finances. It provides a cash buffer to ride out the down years and removes the urge to sell stocks during a bear market. In strong markets, it encourages the retiree to sell the winners and keeps them from getting caught up in taking on too much risk. Is it the optimal solution? According to Karsten, perhaps not from a strictly mathematical perspective. But, when combined with the ease of understanding and implementation, it becomes the winner in my book. Is it good enough for you? Only you can answer that question for yourself. For me, it works, I’m happy with it, and I don’t hesitate to recommend it to any of my readers.
Finally, a quick reminder before I turn it over to Karsten for his final word – please take the time to leave a comment below with your thoughts. Your comments will help determine where we go with this series in the future.
Let me wrap up by pointing out the obvious: Fritz and I have had a very relaxed early retirement. But our respective retirement success has little to do with the Bucket Strategy or lack thereof and has everything to do with lucky retirement timing; since our respective retirement dates in June 2018, the stock market has performed remarkably well. Combine that with a cautious initial withdrawal rate, supplemental income from our respective blogs, and other gigs, and it’s no wonder neither of us had to sweat the asset market volatility over the last 4+ years. So, the average reader here should take us pontificating about what worked for us personally with a grain of salt. Hopefully, Fritz would not claim that his retirement success is solely due to the Bucket Strategy and that he’d be destitute if he followed a naïve passive SAA approach. And likewise, I’m not claiming that my retirement would have failed if I had followed a Bucket Strategy.
While a glidepath approach has the potential to hedge against Sequence Risk, many other Bucket Strategy features are mostly ineffective when compared to a passive SAA approach. And with ineffective, I don’t mean that the Bucket Strategy is necessarily inferior all the time. Instead, it’s a hit-or-miss kind of deal. When it works better than the SAA, it’s not because Fritz is so much more brilliant than I am. And when the Bucket Strategy doesn’t work, it’s not because I’m brighter than Fritz. The bucket strategy’s outperformance or underperformance is due to good or bad luck. It all depends on how well a momentum TAA strategy works at the time.
Why do I even care? One can make the case that a Bucket Strategy helps skittish investors overcome their fear of withdrawing funds from their retirement portfolios. That’s the sentiment if you talk to financial advisers; a bucket strategy is mostly a gimmick, window dressing, and a psychological crutch to get clients comfortable in retirement. And it’s easy to explain.
Well, I beg to differ. First, folks in the FIRE community are sophisticated investors. They can handle the truth. And it’s my job, as an educator of sorts, to explain Sequence Risk. Studying my work and using my simulation toolkit (see Part 28 for the link) has given many of my readers the confidence to retire.
Second, I am ready to admit that this discussion is a bit of a turf war for me. As a thoughtful retirement risk management researcher, I’ve built a reputation and a brand name in the personal finance community. If Fritz wants to use the bucket strategy as an alternative way to reach similar conclusions as mine, then that’s fine with me. But if folks misunderstand Fritz’s approach as meaning that the Bucket Strategy is good enough at timing the equity risk premium that you can now safely ignore my work, well, then we have a problem. Of course, that’s not what Fritz is doing. He and many other FIRE bloggers and podcasters have graciously endorsed my work. But others in the FIRE community have a nonchalant attitude toward Sequence Risk. None of their simple “solutions” to Sequence Risk hold up to scrutiny.
So, to close, I hope the readers enjoyed this discussion. If people expected a bloody cage fight, you might be surprised that Fritz and I agree on more things than we disagree.
Your Turn: You’ve heard what we’ve had to say, now it’s your turn. Who “won” Round 1 in the debate? Is the bucket strategy a cheap gimmick or a sound retirement strategy? Why? Also, what questions do you have that you’d like Karsten and Fritz to address in Part 2 of this series? Finally, if you’re not already following Karsten at Early Retirement Now, go over and sign up for his emails now. Our second part of this series, with answers to your questions, will be published there in the coming weeks.
At 5,000+ words, I warned you this one was a doozie…