How Much Do I Need To Retire Comfortably | Updated

The most common rule of thumb has it that an average individual will need approximately 80% of their pre-retirement income to sustain the same lifestyle after their retirement.

When it comes to determining your how much you need to retire comfortably, it’s important to remember that it’s not about deciding on a specific amount of savings.

The most important factor in determining how much you need to retire is whether you’ll have enough money to generate the income you’ll need to maintain your desired standard of living after you retire. Will a $1 million savings account provide you with enough income indefinitely? Perhaps, but perhaps not. That’s what we’ll find out in the following sections.

How Do You Know When It Is Time To Retire

A lot of people ask the question, when do I need to retire? This is one of the very important questions to ask if you want to be financially free and I believe you are one of those.

The following are ways to know if you are ready to retire:

  • Being financially prepared.
  • Having eliminated debt.
  • Do you have a strong plan for emergencies?
  • Having health insurance.
  • Strong social network.
  • Having something else that you can be earning from.

What Is A Good Age To Retire?

In considering how much you need to retire comfortably, most people when responding to the question, “what is a good age to retire”, say between 65 and 67. But according to a Gallup survey, the average retirement age of people is 61.

How Much Should I Have In My 401 (k) When I Retire?

Before we go into talking about the amount of money you need to have in your 401 (K), it is needful to let you know what 401 (K) means.

What Is a 401(k) Plan?

This is a retirement savings plan offered by many American employers that presents a number of tax advantages to the saver. The 401(k) plan is named after a section of the U.S. Internal Revenue Code.

As an employee, signing up for a 401(k) means that you are agreeing to have a percentage of each paycheck paid directly into an investment account. The employer may match part or all of that contribution. The employee is given the option to choose among a number of investment options, usually mutual funds.

According to retirement experts, various rules of thumb exist about how much you need to save. About the amount of money you should have in account before you retire or when you retire, it should be somewhere near $1 million, 80% to 90% of your yearly pre-retirement income, 12 times your pre-retirement salary.

How Much Do I Need to Retire Comfortably in 2021?

In talking about how much do you need to retire comfortably in 2021. It is needful for you to note that it’s not at all about money or a certain amount of savings but about income.

The most relevant factor in determining how much you need to retire comfortably is whether you’ll have enough money to create the income needed to support your desired quality of life after retirement.

Can you create enough income with a $1 million savings balance that will take you forever? Maybe, but maybe not. That’s what we will be talking about in the next few sections.

So How Much Income Do You Need To Retire Comfortably?

With having the aforesaid in mind, you should expect to need about 80% of your pre-retirement income to cater for your cost of living in retirement. This means that if you earn $100,000 now, you’ll need about $80,000 annually (in today’s dollars) after your retirement sets in, according to this principle.

The idea is that once your retirement sets in, you’ll be able to take off certain expenses. You’ll be unable to save for retirement anymore (obviously), and you might spend less on commuting expenses and other costs related to going to work.

Now, this retirement withdrawal strategy isn’t the most suitable for everyone, and you might want to adjust it up or down based on the type of retirement you plan to have and if your expenses will have a significant difference.

Other sources through which you can get some assistance other than savings.

The good news is that, if you’re like most individuals, you’ll get some assistance from sources other than your savings. For instance, Social Security takes the place of about 40% of the average American’s pre-retirement income all by itself. The percentage is commonly lower than this for higher-income retirees, but, for most persons, Social Security is a very important income source.

If you are unsure about how much you can expect, fall back to your latest Social Security statement, or create a Social Security account to get a good estimate on the basis of your work history.

For an individual that has any pensions from current or former jobs, he/she should be certain to take those into consideration in this step. The same applies to other predictable and permanent sources of income — for instance if you bought an annuity that kicks off after your retirement.

As an instance with a couple that needs $8,000 in monthly income for retirement, let’s say each spouse is expecting $1,500 monthly from Social Security and that one spouse also has a $1,000 pension that comes month by month. What this means is that, of the $8,000 in monthly income needs, $4,000 is being taken care of by sources aside from savings.

So, conclusively, you can come up with the monthly retirement income you need to generate using this formula:

Monthly income required = Estimated monthly retirement expenses – Monthly retirement income from other sources.

READ ALSO: What is Residual Income? How does it Accumulate in 2022

How Much Savings Will You Need To Retire?

Here on how much you need to retire comfortably, we would be determining the amount of savings you’ll need for retirement. After you’ve figured out the amount of money, income-wise, you’ll need to generate from your savings, the next step is to calculate how large your retirement nest egg needs to be in order to have the ability to produce this much income in perpetuity.

To ascertain how much you need to retire comfortably in 2021, you can either use a retirement calculator or you can use the “4% rule.” Admittedly, it has been proven that the 4% rule has its flaws buy through this, it’s a good starting point for determining a safe annual withdrawal amount.

According to the 4% rule, you can withdraw 4% of your retirement savings in your first year of retirement. 

This being the case, if you have $1 million saved, you would take $40,000 out during your first retired year either in a lump sum or as a series of payments. In subsequent years of retirement, you would adjust this amount upward to manage to stay up to date with cost-of-living increases.

The idea is that, if you meticulously follow through on this rule, you shouldn’t have to worry about running out of money when you retire. On a specific note, the 4% rule is designed to ensure that your money has a high probability of lasting for 30 years, at least.

Calculation of the retirement savings target on the basis of the 4% rule

You are to use the following formula for the calculation of the retirement savings target on the basis of the 4% rule:

Retirement savings target = Monthly income required x 25

The bottom line on retirement savings goals

There is no perfect method for the calculation of your retirement savings target. There will be variations in the investment performance with time, and it can be tedious to carry out an accurate projection of your actual income needs.

More so, it’s worth mentioning other things that are considered but it is to be noted that there’s equality for all retirement plans when it comes to income. Money withdrawn from a traditional IRA or 401(k) will be seen to be an income that can be taxed.

Traditional IRA 

IRA means an individual retirement arrangement.

The Traditional IRA was established in the United States by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) 

Roth IRA

Roth IRA is used for its tax-related benefits.

Any money you withdraw from a Roth IRA or Roth 401(k) is on a general note, not taxable at all, which may bring about changes in the calculation a bit.

That’s just an instance, and there are other things to consider, possibly too. While we are working towards the presentation of broad strokes here, it’s still a good idea to reach out to a financial advisor who can tailor a retirement savings goal to your particular situation, not only that but can also help set you on the right path with a savings and investment plan that can make sure you achieve your goals.

By using the methods we have related to you here, you can get a good idea of the amount you’ll need to save in order to have a comfortable retirement. 

However, you are to note that this isn’t designed to be a perfect method but a starting point to assist you to assess where you are and what adjustments that might be necessary to make to get yourself to where you need to be. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How much should I have saved for retirement at age 60?

You should have eight times your annual salary saved.

What are the three types of retirement?

The three types of retirement are; Traditional retirement, Semi retirement and Temporary retirement.

What are the factors that will impact my personal savings goal?

The factors that will impact your personal savings goal include: the age you plan to take up retirement and the lifestyle you look forward to having in retirement.

What are the options for retirement plans?

• Defined contribution plans.
• IRA plans.
• Solo 401(k) plan.
• Traditional pensions.
• The Federal Thrift Savings Plan.
• Guaranteed income annuities (GIAs)
• Cash-balance plans.
• Cash-value life insurance plan.

How do I retire on my terms?

To retire on your terms, you need to: Admit the knowledge that 65 doesn’t have to be the age at which you will retire, Envisage your retirement, Start early, Commit your plan to write, Make your plan flexible enough, Monitor your plan, Share your plan, Work with a team of experienced professionals, Recognize that retirement planning doesn’t retire when you do


As you’ve seen in this article, how much you need to retire comfortably, to retire comfortably, you are to know the good age at which to retire, when it is time to retire, etc. 

I trust that your ambition is to retire comfortably and can assure you that with practicing the information made available here, you will certainly retire comfortably. 


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