How Much Money Do I Need To Retire?


How much money do I need to retire? That’s the $64,000 Question

A key phrase that started with a 1950’s game show where you were asked a series of questions and with the correct answers you’d win $64,000.  When you get right down to it, it’s probably no different when you meet with a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ (CFP®) such as me.

Retirement Questions to Ask

I have to ask you a host of questions including:

  • Where do you want to retire?
  • What type of lifestyle do you want to have in retirement?
    • Travel – where, how often, the type?
    • Grandkids – are you going to spoil them?
    • How are you going to deal with sickness and healthcare costs?
  • What sources of income will you have?
    • Social Security?
    • Can your investment keep up with that darn ‘I’ word- inflation?
  • Do you want to only live off of earnings from your investments, or do you mind eroding principal during your lifetime?
  • Can your current investment portfolio sustain your lifestyle for 25, 30 or 40 years?  At first glance, most may dismiss living 30 or 40 years in their retirement years.  However, I’m here to tell you that for over 25% of the individuals reading this, it’s possible.
  • Do you want to leave money for your kids or your favorite charities?
  • Let’s not forget about our favorite Uncle, Uncle Sam. He plays a major role in your decision process.
  • And the list goes on…

Oh, how it would be easier if we could just answer the questions correctly and receive that $64,000.  But, when I start asking questions that could have several different answers, there isn’t always an easy ‘winning number’ to identify.  It can be evolving and sometimes a moving target.

Retirement Savings

If you have a significant other, agreeing on a number of factors listed above helps to provide the clarity you’ll need to get the process started.

Sometimes, when you start the financial planning process, you’ll discover that your budget can’t support your “dream retirement lifestyle”.

Stillwater Retirement Planning

That doesn’t mean you can’t have a close second “dream retirement lifestyle”.  Just because you can’t stay at a JW Marriott every vacation, but instead you have to settle for a Courtyard by Marriott, what are you really giving up?  Maybe you will have to walk or drive a block or two to the beach instead of having a home right on it, but I figure this way, you just saved yourself a few bucks, and potentially a few headaches.  Just redesign and retool to achieve your dreams.  It takes time, energy and resources to plan your retirement and the rest of your life.  One of the best parts of what we do is helping people plan their retirement and navigate that moving target.

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Ask yourself- can my portfolio support my lifestyle in my retirement? 

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