What are your dreams for retirement?
How much money do I need for retirement? This is such a common question, but it’s a question only you can answer. The real question is “what do you want? Do you want a lavish lifestyle that is more than you ever had or do you want be comfortable and practical? Or, is what you really want is to not work and be happy? But being happy is subjective and means something different to everyone. Think about it… What do you really want out of retirement?
Consider that you might easily enjoy a retirement that lasts 30 years or more, therefore it’s important to focus on what makes you happy and a feeling of fulfilment and then build the financial support that is needed to give you a good foundation for retirement. The vehicles that will help you build these resources can include financial investments such as IRA accounts, pensions, Social Security, 401(k), annuities and many others.
It’s just common sense that if you don’t have the money for the basic necessities in life like food, water, shelter and clothing then obviously you aren’t going to be happy. But what about the other aspects of life that can either give you a fulfilling life or one of quiet despair such as:
- Having good relationships with family and friends.
- Doing your life’s work. Many find deep satisfaction and happiness when creating something new, being productive or working on a challenge.
- Engaging in life, using your wisdom and experience in interesting ways.
- Learning new things, continuing education in something that interests you to learn and grow.
- Appreciating beauty in the world-art, music, the outdoors.
- Community contribution, giving back to worthy causes that interest you.
- Creating a family legacy for future generations.
- Protecting your health and healing.
Do any of these resonate with you? How much money do we need to acquire these aspects of life in your during your retirement?
If you have chosen to start contributing to your retirement in your 20’s, congratulations! Not many will start that early, but if you do the yearly percentage you’d have to save and invest goes down considerably.
Conventional wisdom on an adequate retirement income is 60% to 90% of our pay just before retirement. Typically, saving or investing 10%-15% a year is sufficient when you plan early, however that percentage increases the longer you wait. When you consider that you more than likely will have a family in your 30’s to support and college expenses in your 40’s and 50’s, you can see that starting as soon as your first job is the smartest way to go. A 10% yearly contribution is much easier to do than 20-40% in later years.
Remember that planning for retirement is just as important as career-planning or vacation planning. What are your dreams for retirement? Turn them into reality!