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Relying on only dividends for retirement income...?

I have heard that some people can manage this (living off only dividends in retirement and not touching principal).  How comfortable is everyone with this approach? 
I know dividends can be cut and, consequently, to implement without undue risk this you would need 1) a large basket of stocks (maybe 100?), 2) to get more in expected dividend than you expect to need (by what percentage?) and 3) a cash buffer (how much?).
What kind of numbers would you target for 1, 2 and 3 above if you were to try this?  What are the less-than-obvious risks (e.g., an increase in the tax rate for dividends, a sharp increase in inflation)?  Other thoughts?
I'm inclined to say that stock appreciation (or depreciation) is a trump card in the dividend play.  I expect most investors take the quality of the company over the quarter dividend rate when deciding what goes into the portfolio.  Stock appreciation should easily address the inflation factor (or it's not a good stock). 
I have an issue with owning 100 stocks in a dividend paying portfolio.  With quarterly dividends, that gives you 400 events over the course of a year.  For me, that is more monitor and stock selection work than the provisions are worth.  Perhaps a 10-15 stock portfolio should provide diversity in the event that one or two tanks; but anything over 25 is a no go zone for me. 
Aggressive or moderate and conservative dividend investing can place your annual return over 10% or at 5%, or 2%, respectively.  Once you venture over 5%, the risk and significance of a dividend cut increases.  Some of those mREITS, BDC and MLPs just keep paying however. Got to get the good ones. 
Personally, I utilize dividends to supplement my bond interest income.  With maturing bonds, bond interest, quarterly dividends, my annual budget is covered quite well.  Eventually, I will take SS at age 70 or earlier if need be.  I do not expect excess  inflation to be a factor in the foreseeable future, i.e. 4-5 years.   But a recession is in the cards in that period...IMO.
P.S.  Cash buffer depends upon age, i.e. asset allocation changes with each decade over age 30.  At age 65 and with the market at all time highs, I sport a 45% bond, 38% equity, 17% cash (includes second home at 8%).  That 11% is waiting to be invested in a fresh troth in the market cycle. And,  that (cash funds) would be invested in dividend paying stocks that have good payout and a future.
I've come to appreciate dividends and capital gains payouts. This year, such will amount to over 85% of our 'demand' from the IRA. I count in this payouts from bond funds. Thus, the draw-down is minimal, likely more-than-made-up for by capital appreciation. I hold only 13 stocks, and an equal number of mutual funds and ETF's.  I agree with @Spitfire;100 stocks is too much to manage; not enough hours in the day. I also re-invest most dividends - the only ones I do not are dogs I intend to divest....as for cash, I keep about 7%, funded by high-flyers, but that accounts for about 3 years' expenses. I could stretch it to 4 years with physical assets, more with real estate held outside investment accounts.

An easier way might be investing in an ETF focusing on dividend stocks. I haven't pursued this but it sounds promising.
Stocks I hold are not sporty, nor paying the best dividends out there. They include: RTN, T, SLB, FOXA, CSCO, F, GE (boo! lately), GLW, PG, V (great one, not a high dividend payer, but cap apprec has been very good),

Bottom line, I like dividends. Some may be cut - then you look at alternatives. I have always loved the process of reinvestment; more dividends buy more shares, that pay more dividends, etc. Nearest thing I've seen to a perpetual motion machine, a thing that has eluded philosophers and physicists forever. You just have to understand the company you invest in. And not 100 of them.
I have been using the Contrarian portfolio to provide income for my dependent sister. So far (less than a year) it has paid a monthly income of about $1000 on an initial investment of $150K.  The alternative annuity would pay $630/month with no retained equity.  In addition, the stocks have appreciated about 10%.  How it will do long-term remains to be seen, but the principles seem sound: Buy stocks that are discounted to NAV and pay over 6% dividends for at least 5 years straight.
Great portfolio...nice to hear your spending is low relative to your income needs (i.e., easily get by with conservative portfolio), Careful with inflation though...It can happen...and equities can help keep up with inflation....you'll need portfolio for 30 years (long life)...maybe just a few small tweaks for improvement...
seems like your bond percentage is too high and missing huge uptick in the market
Absolutely. Just my opinion Bonds are a waste of money. Some people are so concerned about losing money, why do they even invest.

Just put it in a can under the bed.
I use what works until it doesn't. I guess I agree with the others!
I have a fairly eclectic mix. My goal for many years has been to grow my dollar assets, so I can retire on debt instruments. I am shifting away (sort of, slowly) from mostly index funds to my multiple Fidelity accounts that contain dividend payers.
Within those accounts I have "buckets" allocated to time frame/risk. From cash needed tomorrow to dollars in stocks to grow from possible use in 2030. It's not the I don't own any interest payers, it's just they all are pretty low duration, with PIMIX being the longest. The dividend payers are mixed in from the buckets beyond say 12 months need.
These include:
REIT funds
Preferred stocks
Preferred stock funds
Ordinary stocks
MLP's (dumped all these, terrible performance) - now easing back into BPL
I would think you could do the above with 50 or so.
Cannot know your budgetary needs, but basal cash should be a year or two, depending on the liquidity of the next bucket.
Interest rate increases will hurt.
Clearly one can live off dividends if assets are high or spending low.  To discover a reference point on what a reasonable dividend payout is look at the S&P500 as a starting point.  Don't look at the %Div Paid but the cash flow from dividends.  One lives on cash flow. 
Plotting cash flow over time on a log scale allows the slope of the curve to represent rate of return.  Comparing that to inflation shows that dividend payout growth far exceeds inflation.  This means if one determines one can live off the cash flow from dividends today, it becomes far easier as time progresses.  Its comforting to see spending ability grow each year.
Companies can cut dividends, but resist doing so due to the significant downward effect on the stock price.  Owning an index ETF for the S&P500 provides a large and diverse pool of dividends.  It is also effortless to manage.  The dividend payout may appear low relative to what dividend focused ETFs, known dividend paying sectors, or individual companies pay, but so is the risk.  Only you can determine the correct risk/reward balance.  There is also a very long track record one can examine and see how payout has behaved over bad times as well as good.  That track record will be more difficult to discover with the same level of assurance for the other mentioned investments.
Once the reference point is discovered and you have a firm handle on your spend rate you can begin to assess if living off dividends will work for you.
I am not the “typical” investor in many regards. Most investors I know don’t have a written investment plan. I am also an advanced Excel user, so I can quickly manage many positions and multiple accounts with very little effort. I do not buy mutual funds and I understand why some only want 10-30 positions in their investment portfolio. They aren’t wrong, their plan is just different from mine. I don’t yet have to take RMD’s from my IRA, but the dividends more than cover my eventual RMD withdrawals. I shoot for a 3.6% portfolio yield. 80% of my investments must be dividend growth with a C or better Weiss Rating. Most are B or better.
With those details in mind, here are my thoughts:
1) A large basket of stocks (maybe 100?). I think this can be done simply using ETFs like DVY and VYM.  I like having 200-250 positions because I can sell investments that rocket up for irrational reasons and reinvest elsewhere. This can be very powerful. My expense rtio is 0.0%.

2) To get more in expected dividend than you expect to need (by what percentage?) I always get more than I expect. My dividend flow is up more than 20% since the beginning of 2017. Much of this is driven by dividend increases and reinvesting dividends in my best positions. The reality is that, because of life style choices, more than 50% of my dividend income is more than what we need for expenses. We have no debt. I took Social Security early so that I would have a longer time frame for deployment of dividend income.

3) A cash buffer (how much?). I keep about two years of cash in accounts outside of Fidelity. This includes internet bank accounts and other non-bank assets that are very liquid. We like to give most of our excess cash away each year. For example, I helped a friend with a project to buy heaters for refugees in war-torn areas of the Middle East this year.
Weiss provides ratings for ETF, stocks and mutual funds https://weissratings.com/

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