By Jeremy Frazie, AIF®, PPC®
How much money do you need to save for a comfortable retirement?
This is a common—yet loaded—question, as the number you need for a comfortable retirement differs from individual to individual and from family to family. Your definition of a comfortable and secure retirement depends on your vision for the future, plus other personal factors like retirement timeline, life expectancy, and future healthcare needs.
But even though everyone’s number is different, this does not mean that you cannot discover your specific number and work intentionally toward that goal.
You just have to put in the work to define your specific vision for retirement, calculate the budget that would allow you to achieve that vision, and factor in the other personal details that are specific to your life and circumstances. Although there is no one-size-fits-all model to retirement savings, answering the questions below can help you land on a realistic target savings goals.
1. When You Retire, Do You Expect Your Budget to Change?
Budgeting was probably something you did in your 20s when your income was small and your expenses were high (hello, student loans). Now budgeting is going to become an important part of your financial life again. Knowing your monthly expenses and anticipating how your budget might change in retirement is essential to discovering your accurate retirement number.
2. What Type of Lifestyle Do You Want?
Knowing the type of lifestyle you want to live can provide more clarity for how your budget might change. If you plan to spend a lot of time traveling, your expenses might go up. If you plan to downsize your home and spend most of your time relaxing and playing with your grandchildren at the local pool, your expenses might go down. It all depends on how you want to spend your time.
3. At What Age Do You Want to Retire?
If you want to retire in your 50s, then you will li