It wasn't until I retired that I realized the trade off I faced regarding my financial needs (money to meet my monthly budget) during the distribution phase of life verses the accumulation phase of life. The "working for retirement" world I was leaving had arranged all of these financial buckets one way and at retirement I realized these buckets needed to be rearranged quite differently.
In retirement, my income would be derived from a "bond like" combination of pension income, Social Security income, and Annuity income(plus maybe part time work, rental income, etc.). All of these are "bond like" in nature...some with inflation adjustments, but all grossly conservative.
For simplicity, a $50K retiree income might need a $1.25M bond portfolio that could consistently pay out 4 % / year. If I were 65 at retirement this "$1.25M Pension/SS/Annuity equivalent" might be considered 65% of my investment worth (based on Bogle's bonds=age axiom). Therefore, I would need an additional $437,500 invested strictly in equities to properly allocate the remaining 35% of my overall (net worth) to come up with a 65/35 mix.
edit Disclosure: I am nowhere near these kinds of numbers, yet I am trying to assign an asset value to this $50K income stream as well as "grow" my "non-bond-like" 35%.
Most of us in retirement don't think of our Pension / SS / annuities as "bond distributions" as we spend these proceeds on a monthly basis, but they really are. More importantly, most of us probably don't need more than 20% of our remaining investment portfolio in bonds when we retire at age 65. This additional 20 % bond position in our retirement portfolio serves more as buffer to the risk dynamics of equities more than anything else.
As retirees we need to gamble for a little more return using vehicles that return greater than 4%.
If we don't get it we eat leftovers...if we do, we take the wife out for dinner.