Retirement. It is something that most of us look forward to. Enjoying a life of leisure doing what we want when we want.
The key to having a successful retirement is to plan, the earlier you begin to plan, the better off you will be. It is important to have money in retirement. How much money you need depends on what you want to do.
The first step in assessing your retirement is to decide what you want to do when you retire. Do you want to golf, travel, bowl, relocate, do volunteer work? Once you have decided what you want to do, you then need to see what it will cost. If you are a golfer and want to golf twice a week, year round and the average price for 18 holes with a cart is $40 then you will need to be sure that you have $4,160 every year of your retirement for golf. If you want to relocate, you need to find out what it will cost to relocate. You also will need to factor in the cost of living at your desired relocation city. When you relocate you should rent for at least 1 year to get familiar with the area and make sure that is where you want to live.
You should also calculate what your budget will need to be when you retire. You will then know how much money you will need. If you are wanting to do more than what you can realistically save, then you will either need to work longer or adjust your retirement plans. Taking the golfer as an example, he may have to settle for golfing only once per week at $40 so they can cut their budget by $2,000 per year.
The earlier you begin planning for retirement, the better your retirement will be. You should be completely debt free when you retire. Knowing how our government runs things, it is best to calculate your retirement without Social Security but for those of us who started saving late, we will need to include Social Security. If you can cover all of your expenses by your investments, Social Security can just be some extra money to have fun with.
I know many people say that you can not be debt free and have much money saved at retirement. According to this online calculator at, if you are 25 years old and contribute just $260 per month from age 25 until age 65 and your investment averages 5.6% over inflation, at age 65 you will have about $464,000 in today’s dollars. If you take that $464,00 times the 5.6% over inflation that it has been earning, you get an annual income of about $26,000. I calculated those numbers fairly conservatively but as you can see, it is possible to accumulate some wealth.
Assess what you want to do in retirement, set up a budget, pay off all of your debt, save for retirement and have fun.