#MotivationMonday - How Much Do You Really Need to Retire?

How much do you need to retire? Simple question – no easy answer. Everyone has their own number, and there are many ways to calculate it.

Some methods are based on your annual salary. For example, one method recommends that by age 30, you should have the equivalent of your annual salary set aside. By age 35, twice your annual salary; by age 40, three times; age 45, four times – increasing the multiplier each five years until by age 65 you have eight times your annual salary set aside.

A similar rule-of-thumb is to have the equivalent of your salary saved by age 30 and have 10 times your final salary saved (if you want to retire by age 67).  But it should be noted that unlike this method, life is not linear – for example, you may have to adjust for major life events.

Other methods are based on your anticipated annual expenses – how much you’ll need to support your retirement lifestyle. To determine that figure, you’ll need to imagine what your retirement life will look like and then establish fixed versus discretionary costs. (One of the hardest costs to project and control will probably be healthcare. In fact, it may even be the biggest expense you have during retirement.)

It might be easier to anticipate fixed costs, like rent or other living expenses, than try to come up with lifestyle costs, such as entertainment or travel. But it’s important to establish the full picture of retirement finances. Knowing how much you’ll need to withdraw annually will help establish a savings goal.

One such expenses-based method, the 4 percent rule, theorizes you need enough saved to be able to meet your annual expenses of year one of retirement by withdrawing 4 percent of your savings. It’s more of a guideline than a rule, and there are several variations that have been developed since it was first presented in 1994. Factors that affect these models include the economy, asset allocation and the kind of retirement lifestyle you want to live.

Call our office today. We can help you imagine your retirement lifestyle and set a financial goal that works for you.

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