Do You Know How Much You Really Need To Retire Well?

How much do really need to retire well?

The general take on retirement is that we need to have a million dollars. We hear it in the media, we see it on the news, we read it in the finance books. But from your own personal perspective, do know how much you really need to retire based on the things you want to do with YOUR life? Let's talk through this a little bit.

How much do you think need to retire comfortably?

Let me ask a different way - If you were to think about things on a monthly basis, how much money would you want to have available to spend a month in order for you to feel comfortable when you are in retirement? (Assuming today's value of money).

This monthly amount should include things like your living expenses, travel, fun, eating out....basically the cost of all the things - your essentials plus fun - that you'd like to be able to afford for a full life when you are retired.

Think of how much you'd need to live on comfortably on a monthly basis in retirement

Keep in mind many retirees who can afford to, never really retire 100% because they get bored and so they usually have part time jobs or businesses. So when you think of that monthly amount, consider that you may have additional income coming in from a job or business. (I'm assuming here that you are already planning for retirement and will have the luxury of choosing whether or not you still have to work).

Take that monthly amount you decided on and multiply by 12 so you know how much you need a year. So for example, let's say you decide on $5,000 a month multiplied by 12 months that's equal to $60,000 a year that you'll need to live on comfortably (let's also assume after taxes).

Then take that $60,000 and multiply it by 20 years, which is the average length of retirement, that will give you $1.2 million dollars. This amount is how much you'll need to save for your retirement (at a minimum, add ~25% to this will give you the amount before taxes so $1.5 million).

Once you know your retirement number, and you project what you are saving now into the future, are you on track? 

To determine this, You also need to find out how much you should be saving on an annual basis to ensure you meet your long term retirement goal.

Your calculation will of course need to factor in inflation ( a good retirement calculator like the one I linked above will do that for you). Looking at things this way helps give you perspective on how much you need to save. 

This exercise is not to scare you. It is to motivate you to create or adjust your long term savings and investment strategy.

The good news, is that you don't have to save every single dollar for retirement if you contribute consistently to your retirement account and invest your contributions. Investing over time will allow your money to compound and gain returns which means your money is at work and growing for you!

Time is one of your greatest assets and while you have it on your site your want to get to work building long term wealth by - 

  1. Creating a plan to pay off debt

  2. Building an emergency fund

  3. Contributing to retirement

Remember, the only way you can get ahead is by getting started.

Bola Onada Sokunbi


Bola Onada Sokunbi

Bola is a Certified Financial Educator, money coach, finance writer, business strategist, social media influencer and founder of Clever Girl Finance, a platform that empowers and educates women to make the best financial decisions for their current and future selves and to pursue their dreams of financial independence in order to live life on their own terms.