The arguments rage on. How much will you need to retire comfortably? Some say more than you might think. Others claim that it will cost you less to live in retirement. Two articles at Marketwatch argued these two perspectives.
The Wall Street Journal’s Jonathan Clements believes that you might be able to live on less than most experts suggest in this piece.
While occasional columnist Henry Hebeler argues that you could suffer a miserable future unless you save and invest a lot more than you otherwise might. Read his article.
Both perspectives offer valid points, yet aren’t much help to you as an individual. That’s because you’re situation is unique. The only way to plan for your retirement needs is by creating a personalized plan. Creating a retirement income plan is not a process that is particularly quick or easy and may require some professional guidance.
What you make and spend today does have some correlation to what you might need in the future. However, your needs and wants may change when you stop working. Plus, there a certain hard facts to consider:
If it doesn’t look like you will have what you need and you are years from retirement can you save and invest more?
If you are nearing retirement without enough savings, you may not be able to afford all you want without taking unacceptable risks.
How much you want or need in retirement may be a moot point if you don’t have the resources to save toward your goals. You may need to adjust your plans.
It’s important to have a retirement income plan, but it can only be a rough guide. No matter what you think you might need, it’s still wise to save and invest as much or more than you comfortably can. Then, invest it in such a way that you stand a decent of success at a level of risk you can tolerate.