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Retirement: How Much Money Will You Need?

How much money will you need when you retire?

There is no magic number, but many experts suggest that somewhere in the range of 60% to 80% of your working income is a good target to aim for.

That means if your household income now is $80,000, you might need somewhere in the range of $48,000 to $64,000 a year once you retire.

And remember, retirement could last 20 years or more.

The reason there is no easy answer is that everyone’s needs are different … and they will change over time.

To help you get a better idea of what might be best for you, take a few minutes each year to think about your needs … and those needs will become clearer with age.

Will you still have big regular expenses, such as a mortgage, car payment or credit card bills?

What type of lifestyle do you want in retirement: Big trips or small vacations? Expensive hobbies or working in a garden? A lot of entertainment or just an occasional night out?

How about medical expenses: Will you need to pay medical insurance until you qualify for Medicare? What are your regular medication costs? Are you planning to buy long-term care coverage to help protect against the unexpected?

Once you have a good idea what your expenses and lifestyle goals will cost, you’ll need to look at your income sources.

What is your estimated Social Security income?

Have you been saving money in a retirement plan like a 401(k) or 403(b)? Do you have IRAs?

A big question in this category always is ‘Are you saving enough?’ The earlier you start and the more you set aside, the bigger that income source is likely to be in retirement.

Will you have a work pension you can count on for regular income in retirement?

Do you plan to work part time?

Once you have a good estimate of your expenses and target an age you’d like to retire at, you’ll be able to compare them to your expected income to see if you’re going to have enough.

Can you meet your goals?

If you need to do some rethinking, the good news is that altering your spending needs a bit or saving a little more and putting off retirement for a few years can help make good things happen.