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  1. #1
    My husband and I are trying to determine if we have enough saved for retirement. It seem that all the "planners" offers by investment companies (Fidelity, Vanguard etc) operate on more is always better plan. I can't seem to find one that allows me to input our estimated expenses. Our income exceeds our current needs. Does anyone have a better way to figure these things out?

  2. #2

    How much is enough for retirement??

    Make a list of expenses. Add them up.
    Make a list of income. Add them up.
    If your expenses are higher than your income, the balance will come from savings, investments.

  3. #3
    Excel, or other spreadsheet software, is an excellent tool for this type of 'stubby pencil' thought process. I'd categorize and quantify my expenses, my income and savings/investments, projecting probable changes in the future years, and seeing what the net result is each year. If income is less than expenses, subtract the difference from savings/investments. If expenses are less than income, add the difference to savings/investments. (The math can all be done automatically by formulas embedded in the spreadsheet.) Review your suppositions regularly, especially where your money is being spent, and make adjustments accordingly. You should also include a return on investment growth factor for your savings/investments.

  4. #4
    You also need to consider what you want to do in retirement. If you ever wanted a good weekend to last forever...well, that's retirement (at least for us [smile]).
    But you need to be to AFFORD whatever extra activities you want to do.
    Hobbies? Travel? Go back to school (not necessarily for a degree; many who retire in college towns just enjoy sitting in on classes)?
    Retirement is best viewed in phases. You will have an active retirement phase, then as you age and start to slow down, you'll spend less on outside activities. Healthcare costs may start to rise as age-related ailments begin.
    Stress-test your plans thoroughly. You must feel confident you can survive not just if one or two things go wrong, but when three or four or half-a-dozen things go wrong in quick succession.
    As a couple, you want to approach retirement having already discussed not just your goals and hopes, but also alternatives for what one should do if something happens to the other spouse/partner.



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