Do I Really Need 80 Of My Income To Retire


How Much Of Your Income Do You Need To Replace In Retirement

You Need 80% of Pre Retirement Income? NO!!!

Dear Carrie,

I’ve heard that generally speaking you can get by on 70-80 percent of your annual income in retirement. Is that really a reliable estimate?

A Reader

Dear Reader,

A lot of people would certainly sleep better knowing they had enough money to live comfortably in retirement. That’s why we have approximations like the 70-80 percent guideline. They give people an estimate to work towards, which is a step in the right direction.

But a guideline is one thingand reality can be another. So your question gets right to the heart of the matter: How much of your annual income do you really need to live comfortably in retirement? If only the answer were as simple as the question.

How Much Money Do You Need To Retire Comfortably

Assume you will need about 80% of your current income to maintain a similar standard of living after retirement.

The 4% Rule withdrawal strategydoes not work for everyone, and you might need to adjust based on expected expenses and your desired type of retirement. The rule is a flawed method.

Instead, utilize a combination of annuities and Social Security Income to layer a monthly income stream that is guaranteed not to run out.

The key to this strategy is analyzing the perfect age to retire comfortably.

Retirement Planning Savings Tip

When using an annuity to save for retirement, open up two separate annuity contracts. Ensure one of the contracts is a Roth IRA, and contribute the annual maximum amount every year.

Why? Because when you eventually retire, all of your income from the Roth IRA retirement account will be tax-free.

Theres a high probability that taxes will continue to increase each year so pay the taxes now and reduce your tax bill in the future.

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Figure Out How Much Annual Income You’ll Need During Retirement

By , J.D.

The first step in retirement planning is to figure out how much money you’ll need each year when you retire. Although there is some guesswork involved, you can systematically think about what your needs are likely to be and then calculate a reasonable estimate of your retirement expenses. It may be a lot less than you feared.

Social Security Pensions And Other Reliable Income Sources

Do we really need $6,340,998 to retire?

The good news is that, if you’re like most people, you’ll get some help from sources other than your savings. For example, Social Security replaces about 40% of the average American’s pre-retirement income all by itself. The percentage is typically lower than this for higher-income retirees, but, for most people, Social Security is a significant income source.

If you aren’t sure how much you can expect, check your latest Social Security statement, or create a my Social Security account to get a good estimate based on your work history.

If you have any pensions from current or former jobs, be sure to take those into consideration in this step. The same goes for any other predictable and permanent sources of income — for example, if you bought an annuity that kicks in after you retire.

Continuing our example of a couple that needs $8,000 in monthly income to retire, let’s say each spouse is expecting $1,500 per month from Social Security and that one spouse also has a $1,000 monthly pension. This means that, of the $8,000 in monthly income needs, $4,000 is being taken care of by sources other than savings.

So, in summary, you can estimate the monthly retirement income you need to generate using this formula:

Monthly income required = Estimated monthly retirement expenses-Monthly retirement income from other sources

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Is A Million Enough To Retire

Is a million dollars enough money to ensure a financially secure retirement today? A recent study determined that a $1 million retirement nest egg will last about 19 years on average. Based on this, if you retire at age 65 and live until you turn 84, $1 million will be enough retirement savings for you.

Factor No : How Much Can You Withdraw From Savings Each Year

A landmark 1998 study from Trinity College in Texas tried to find the most sustainable withdrawal rate from retirement savings accounts over various time periods. The study found that an investor with a portfolio of 50 percent stocks and 50 percent bonds could withdraw 4 percent of the portfolio in the first year and adjust the withdrawal amount by the rate of inflation each subsequent year with little danger of running out of money before dying.

For example, if you have $250,000 in savings, you could withdraw $10,000 in the first year and adjust that amount upward for inflation each year for the next 30 years. Higher withdrawal rates starting above 7 percent annually greatly increased the odds that the portfolio would run out of money within 30 years.

More recent analyses of the 4 percent rule have suggested that you can improve on the Trinity results with a few simple adjustments not withdrawing money from your stock fund in a bear-market year, for example, or foregoing inflation raises for several years at a time. At least at first, however, it’s best to be conservative in withdrawals from your savings, if you can.

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Do You Really Need $1 Million To Retire Well Of Course You Do

I read an article in The Globe and Mail that reminded me most experts say you need approximately 75% of your current salary to maintain that lifestyle in retirement. I recall the premise of this argument is a lot of what youre paying now will hopefully disappear later.

Hopefully disappear indeed

Yes, some costs may disappear in retirement like saving for retirement itself.

Other costs that should disappear in retirement are your debt / your mortgage. In fact, all debt should be gone before retirement.

However, some costs in your future are not going anywhere and if anything those costs are only going to hit your wallet harder over time:

  • The rising costs of property taxes,
  • The rising costs of heat, hydro, water and any utilities,
  • The rising costs of healthcare,
  • The rising costs of insurance premiums,
  • The rising costs of gas,
  • The rising costs of food and consumables,
  • The rising costs for clothing,
  • The potential for personal income taxes to rise, and
  • Much, much more

On top of this, because youve been busy working during the day youve likely put off many things youve wanted to do during your career and thus, delayed gratification. This might mean in the first few years of your retirement youll be spending just as much money as your working years.

Some other factors to consider as you work towards retirement, at the time of this post:

Im not writing about a one-size-fits-all-retirement number because that number does not exist.

Where Do Households 65+ Spend More

How Much Do You Need to Retire?

Gambling claims $247, above the $200 households 40-54 on average spend on lottery tickets. Older households tend to spend more on healthcare, but surprisingly the numbers are not significant.

Households 65+ also tended to become more philanthropic, and gave $1,180, or double the average spend of households 40-54.

Stats Canada defines a household as a person or group of persons occupying one dwelling unit. Age is based on the age of the member of the household mainly responsible for its financial maintenance .

Of course there are caveats. Expenses vary across Canada. Spending may be affected by lifestyle and income. Different numbers of persons live in Canadian households, which may affect the data.

Excluding airplane travel.

Households 40-54 spent $2,673 on healthcare. Households 65+, $2,936.

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How Much Do You Really Need For Retirement

It’s the age-old question: How much should I save for retirement?

For years, financial advisors recommended people save at least $1 million to enjoy a comfortable retirement. But given longer lifespans and concerns about the financial status of Social Security, is that target enough to fund a potentially decades-long retirement?

Maybe not.

Well-off investors surveyed by asset manager Legg Mason in March said that they would need at least $2.5 million to maintain their lifestyles in retirement. And a recent survey by the Employee Benefits Research Institute found more than 1 in 10 workers overall think they’ll need to save at least $1.5 million to retire comfortably.

On the other hand, 69 percent in the same EBRI survey thought they’d need to have less than $1 million by retirementand 1 in 5 thought they’d need to save $250,000 to $499,999.

Financial advisors say the estimates are not surprising, given the range in incomes in America.

That’s one reason why many advisors recommend investors use their income to benchmark their progress in building a nest egg. For instance, Fidelity Investments, the nation’s largest provider of retirement accounts, suggests workers aim to save at least eight times their ending salary by retirement.

“The true cost of retirement is highly personalized based on each household’s unique facts and circumstances,” Blanchett concluded.

Mental Tricks To Help You Save More

If youre struggling to save enough money, try these mindset tips to help you save more:

  • Track your spending: Its undeniable that if you track your spending, you will become a better saver. I like to use an excel spreadsheet at Squawkfox, or you can also use a mobile app like Mint. I review my spending every day and calculate my net worth every month to see if Im on track to my financial goals.
  • Ask yourself this before buying Will this purchase improve my life in the long-term?This tip has helped me save a lot of money on impulse buys and shifted my spending towards things that actually matter to my happiness.
  • $100 rule: If I spend more than $100 on something, Ill do a lot of research first.
  • Money saved today will multiply with time: A dollar saved today will be worth multiple times that amount if invested and held onto longer, which can give you freedom in the future.

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What Can Change Your Retirement Income Needs

Calculating your income needs in retirement is not an exact science. Life happens and it may leave your retirement plan in tatters. Some possibilities include:

  • Health issues that cause you to retire earlier than planned or which result in higher-than-expected medical bills early in retirement
  • Financially dependent kids in retirement
  • Divorce
  • Significant mortgage payments
  • Run-away inflation or a market crash, and much more.

If for one reason or the other, you are unable to save enough money for retirement at age 60, or 65, or earlier depending on what your plans were initially, the following strategies may be useful in managing your âsavings/income gapâ:

1. Work for longer and delay government pension till later: Working for a few more years and/or delaying when you start receiving OAS/CPP can significantly increase your eligible payouts down the road.

2. Semi-retire and work part-time: Every year you delay dipping into your retirement nest egg means more money to spend in the future.

3. Start saving aggressively: The earlier you start saving, the better for you. Time is the game-changer when it comes to the returns you are able to earn on your investment portfolio. If you are running out of time, you will need to put aside more funds more often.

6. Other Government safety nets: If your income in retirement puts you in the low-income bracket , you may qualify for additional government benefits, including the Guaranteed Income Supplement or the Allowance.

How To Save For Retirement In Your 30s

Why is it that when people are planning to retire they plan to live off ...

Once you enter your 30s, youre moving out of entry-level jobs and earning more. You may still be paying down student loans or other debts. But keep saving for retirement even as you remain laser-focused on paying down your debt. The longer you carry debt, the more you pay in interest and the less youll have available to save.

Emergency fund: Aim to maintain at least six months of living expenses in emergency savings, in a high-yield online savings account.

Additional savings: Once youre comfortable with the balance in your emergency fund, consider investing additional money in a brokerage account, which can earn higher potential returns than a savings account. This makes brokerage accounts useful for medium-term goals, like a home down payment, or other longer-term pre-retirement goals.

Educational savings: If youre starting a family, consider opening an educational savings account like a 529 plan to pay for educational expenses so you can avoid tapping your retirement to pay for college.

Catch-up tip: If debts weighing you down, consider an aggressive debt payoff strategy like the debt snowball or avalanche method.

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Longer And More Active Retirements

People are living longer and more active retirement lifestyles than ever before. Increasing longevity has made 60 the new 40. If you plan an early retirement so you can sail around the world or take frequent wine-tasting trips to France and Italy, the cost of those leisure activities and travel can easily offset any decrease in work-related expenses. Alternatively, if you are planning an early retirement it will mean you need more money to support a longer life of leisure. A longer retirement means you cant spend as much investment principal each month, and a more active retirement means you need more savings and income to support a more expensive lifestyle.

How Long Will You Live In Retirement

Based on current estimates, a 65 year old man can expect to live approximately 18 years in retirement, and a 65 year old woman can expect to live about 20 years, but many people live longer. Planning to live well into your 90s can help you avoid outliving your income.

The worksheet takes into account some factors that impact your retirement savings. First, investing – because it involves risk. Second, inflation – because todays dollars will usually buy less each year as the cost of living rises. Your target savings rate includes any contributions your employer makes to a retirement savings plan for you, such as an employer matching contribution. If, for example, you are in a 401 plan in which you contribute 4 percent of your salary and your employer also contributes 4 percent, your saving rate would be 8 percent of your salary.

If you are not currently saving this amount, dont be discouraged. The important thing is to start saving even a small amount and increase that amount when you can. Come back and update this worksheet from time to time to reflect changes and track your progress.

Here are a few tips on how to save smart for retirement:

To track other resources you may have in retirement, start by getting your Social Security statement and an estimate of your retirement benefits on the Social Security Administrations website,

Get started today for a secure financial future!

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Responses To Do You Really Need $1 Million To Retire Well Of Course You Do

  • Paul· Edit

    There is no such thing as feeling entirely secure financially. The paradox is the more you gain, the more you desire. Having more money relieves you of some stresses, but adds others. Keeping the money is almost more burdensome than getting it. Its absurd to say one cannot be comfortable with 1M. It depends on the lifestyle you embrace. Some people live lavishing, some more moderate. Greed factors in, envy as well. Are you psychologically well, or a total neurotic? No one here admits such important things. Do you have vices, which no one here would ever reveal, or lifestyle dysfunctions? This all matters whether 1M is your golden parachute.

  • · Edit

    Good points Paul, including keeping the money is also as burdensome as earning it and saving it in the first place. There is likely stress in that but Im not there yet so I dont know. I probably have a number of lifestyle dysfunctions does owning a 17-year-old car count? Im trying to run in into the ground but its been a big enabler to increasing our savings rate in recent years.

  • · Edit

    My husband and I are 62, we have been in and out of job. We recently sold our very beautiful home and after buying our new home out right I think we will have 1 M left for retirement. A little concerned how this will work out.

  • · Edit

    Hi Toby,

    Depending upon your spending patterns and lifestyle objective $1M is still a great pile of money including what youll earn from CPP and OAS.

  • Life Changes That Can Affect Your Retirement Income

    Do you really need $1 Million in savings to retire? [How much retirement fund is needed?]

    Retirement planning is all about making adjustments. Life is unpredictable, and chances are the retirement plan you make at age 30 will look nothing like your reality at age 60. Here are some factors that will make you need to revisit your retirement calculations

    • Significant changes in your income, such as landing a higher-paying job or launching a new business.
    • Large changes in your asset value. Real estate is a good example of this anyone who owned a property in Toronto or Vancouver in the last decade has seen enormous gains in their assets. Albertans have not been as fortunate.
    • Investment gains and losses.
    • Health issues that can cause a change in your life expectancy.
    • Changes in family life such as getting married, having children, or getting divorced.

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