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> ... which at retirement can provide a modest income based on 4% yield - without touching the principal.

You're doing yourself a financial disservice if you focus on dividends. Total returns are more important:

* https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UpXI_Vd51dA

There is no financial difference between have $1000 in stock and $40 in cash dividends, and having the stock go up to $1040 and you then selling $40 dollars' worth of principal.

Treating the $1000+$40 as "better" than $1040 is a form of mental accounting:

* https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mental_accounting

Do a search for "dividend myths".

true, though from a tax POV they are treated differently in many countries

Which would only apply in taxable accounts though.

The majority of people probably are using tax-sheltered accounts and are primarily saving for retirement, or their kid's education.

If anyone can max out all of those, and pay their cost of living, they're (a) doing quite well for themselves, and (b) probably a small portion of the population.

The advice to not focus on dividends but on total returns is geared toward the general public, who probably don't want to get into the minutiae of tax laws. :)

Ah, I fully agree here. The comment I made about 4% yield was once you are at retirement and want a low volatility portfolio, not on your way there.

Maxing out your annual pension allowance - as I said it depends on your personal circumstances, however I think many people on HN mid/late career will have no difficulty there

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