How Much Do You Need To Have In The Bank To Retire?


It’s madness – utter madness. What’s so maddening? Those that understand what they need to do for something to happen the way that they very much want it to, but who are putting very little effort into finding out how they need to go about making it happen.

Unfortunately, this is where Americans are at with some estimates concluding that over half of the American population hasn’t even given a second thought to how much they’ll need at retirement. Sure, a great many of them have some kind of retirement plan – by “plan”, I mean they’ve set up something where funds are going into an account – but they haven’t planned for how much they’ll need, when they want to have amount by, so on and so forth.

Of course, this is maddening! Your retirement is your business – if you were running your own business, would you not at least have a 10-year fiscal plan and a budget? That’s bare bones for a business and your retirement plan should be structuralized in a similar fashion. To find out more about your superannuation fund, visit Suncorp & chat with one of their staff members.

In America’s Defense – Recovery is Still at Work

Putting the madness aside, there is a certain amount of understanding that should be extended. For a substantial amount of time – in recent years, and presently – plenty of Americans were concerned more about making it to the end of the month, than they were about making it to retirement. Priorities shifted and it became more about surviving here in the now, as opposed to preparing for a comfy future.

However, at this point, it’s time to get back into the swing of planning for the future. It’s true that we had a disappointing 4th quarter, especially after such a strong showing in the 3rd, but the economy is growing, people are spending, investments are popping, and the economic electricity is crackling back to life.

In 2013, 62% of Americans surveyed who made significant financial resolutions for this year were able to achieve their goals and then some — a record-breaking 46% of Americans have already established new financial resolutions for 2014. Yes, yes, yes!

Find the Retirement Calculation that Works for You

This aspect of retirement planning is the sticky one – everyone is different. What you need to have in the bank at retirement may vary substantially from what your neighbor needs to have in the bank – perhaps your neighbor was more diligent at depositing into his savings account than you were and therefore doesn’t have to work so hard to get that retirement fund populated.

There’s a number of varying factors that will ultimately change how many multiples of your salary you should be stowing away for retirement, but the general rule of thumb is – you always need more than you think you do.

In order to get you thinking about what these numbers and calculations might be, you should use the internet to your advantage and stake out a couple good online calculators – there are everywhere! These are largely just to get you thinking, however – what you really need is a financial advisor.

Don’t go it alone – there’s too much, it’s too complicated, and you won’t know which methods, theories, and calculations are best suited to you unless you shop around. A financial advisor can simply help cut the time you spend doing that in half – they know the industry, they have the connections, and they can get you set up in a hurry.

No matter how you choose to tackle this, make sure you take the following into consideration:

  • What are Your Medical Costs? – Are they substantial? Then, plan BIG. Some estimates predict that in 2019, a 65-year-old couple – with no employer-provided health benefits – will need to have $450,000 in the bank at retirement just to have a 50% chance of fully funding health care expenses that aren’t already being handled by Medicare.
  • How Much Do Your Save? – If you’re saving around 15% of your total income, every year, then you’ve put yourself in a great position. By the time retirement comes around your savings alone will be able to replace 85% of your yearly salary for the next 30-years of retirement.
  • Have You Considered Your Life Expectancy? – Don’t assume that you might not live long and plan according to that. Always plan to live a long life, because chances are good that you will. Estimates from The Society of Actuaries state that for a 65-year-old couple, there’s a 45% chance one of you will reach the age of 90 and a 20% chance one will reach the age of 95.
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  1. Absolutely agree with the sentiment that you will need more than you think. The old rule of thumb of having 70% of your current income in retirement is outdated, particularly when you consider that people will be more active than they believe and healthcare costs, as you point out. I advise people to shoot for 85-90% of their current income as a minimum. My own plan calls for having 105% of my current income in retirement.

  2. Great info here. I am done searching for the magic number…but it is good to know a roundabout figure and then round WAY up!

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