In the discussion about income for life and annuities earlier this week a lot of interesting points were brought up. We all know that we need to save something for retirement, but just how much are people expecting to save? You hear all sorts of numbers thrown out there saying you need to have a million dollars by retirement, or save up ten times your annual pre-retirement income, and so on. But these are just broad assumptions and most people’s true needs are going to vary significantly.
So, have you thought about how much money you should have saved up by the time you retire? One way to figure this out is to work backwards. Instead of just shooting for a big number, start with the amount of income you’ll likely need to receive from your investments in retirement. From there, you can then calculate how much you need to have saved up so that you can sustain that income without depleting your nest egg. Here’s an interesting calculator that can do just that. It will take into account your age, expected retirement, expected rate of return and rate of inflation, and then ask you for how much money you’d like to receive each month from your investments. Then, it calculates how much you should try to save by retirement, both adjusted and non-adjusted for inflation.
According to my numbers, after factoring in inflation I need to save up between $5 and $6 million to reach my monthly income goal. Of course, this is based on an early retirement, assuming no pension, no Social Security, and high income since I plan on doing a lot of things in retirement that cost money instead of just sitting at home. It seems like a lot, but it could be doable. Granted, we’re not able to save enough each year to hit that target yet but it gives me a number to shoot for.
So, how much money do you need to retire? Were you shocked at the results?
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About the Author: Jeremy Vohwinkle is a Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor® and spent a few years working as a financial planner. Today, he helps people make the most of their money by writing about personal finance here and elsewhere on the web. Jeremy is also Coach at Adaptu and a regular contributor for other publications such as Intuit, and American Express. Be sure to follow Jeremy on Twitter or Google+.