Lately there has been a lot of discussion of what the appropriate rate of spending in retirement is. My suggestion is that as far a stocks go you can safely spend your dividend plus half of the companies' retained earnings. Companies retain earnings because they have good investment options for that money. If the investments are in fact good that will increase the value of the company and future dividends and so you should not lose value. So why them do I say its only safe to spend half of the retained earnings 2 reasons: 1. Inflation means new capital inputs cost more than the depreciation of existing inputs. 2. Companies have historically not been good reinvesting retained earnings.
Now all of that is assuming that your stock investing is focused on dividend and future dividends. Thus that you favor companies that have a long record of increasing dividends.