The Caller on Dave Ramsey’s Viral 4% Rule Meltdown Speaks Out! (My Interview with Jay Disberger)

David talks to Jay Disberger, the caller on Dave Ramsey’s viral 4% rule meltdown.

They start the discussion by describing why the clip went viral and how people can get their questions answered live on the Dave Ramsey Show.

Jay’s motivation for the call: To get clarity on how best to withdraw your money in retirement and get Dave to take a stand on sustainable withdrawal in retirement. 

Jay shares his journey to finance coaching and saving for retirement. 

David and Jay discuss why George Kamel was right about the 4% withdrawal strategy and why Dave Ramsey’s 8% withdrawal rate is misleading.

Why Dave Ramsey is not a huge fan of the 4% rule or the people who preach it — He believes it’s too low and unrealistic. You don’t need to withdraw 4% of your savings for your nest egg to survive.

According to Dave Ramsey, you’re missing out on a big opportunity if you only withdraw 4% from an investment portfolio earning 12%.

David and Jay agree that Dave Ramsey lives in a fantasy world where he thinks stratospheric distribution rates are sustainable in retirement.

The biggest issue with an 8% withdrawal rate is that it doesn’t account for market volatility. Just because you average 12% per year doesn’t mean you’re guaranteed 12% returns yearly.

The only way to have a productive conversation with people who don’t think they can be wrong is to ask them open-ended questions in the hope that they come to the conclusion themselves.

According to David, we live in a world where anything you say that flies in the face of reason will be clipped and posted online. 

Dave Ramsey does a great job of motivating people to get out of debt and get on the path of financial independence. The problem lies in his absurd retirement planning advice.

The biggest problem with Dave Ramsey is that he’s not very nimble when it comes to changing his thoughts according to new research and data.

Jay and David agree that the 4% rule is not for everyone, but it’s also not sustainable to follow the 8% rule. 

Jay reveals what he would tell Dave Ramsey if he ever got the opportunity to talk to him again.



Mentioned in this episode:

David’s books: Power of Zero, Look Before You LIRP, The Volatility Shield, Tax-Free Income for Life and The Infinity Code (free 3-part video series)

@mcknightandco on Twitter 

@davidcmcknight on Instagram

David McKnight on YouTube

Get David’s Tax-free Tool Kit at

Jay Disberger on LinkedIn

Jay Disberger at

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