Saving Enough for Retirement

Asking about saving enough for retirement is like asking: "How long is a piece of string?"

There is no one size fits all.

A recent survey of retirees found some spent more than when they were working and some spent less. Typically, clothes cost less.

There were no more union dues, no more commuting to work each day.

But travel costs went up for some with visits to relatives and vacations overseas; others spent more on hobbies. Health expenses also are usually higher as we get older.

There are a lot of questions you need to ask yourself before you can even attempt to answer whether you are saving enough for retirement.

Take time to picture your future

For instance, will you keep the home you now have or move to another? If moving is part of your plan, what expenses will be involved in that? Do you expect to make changes to your new place? Will it be farther away from shopping? Will heating or cooling expenses change? Will you move to another country such as Panama where living costs are much less than those in many other countries – and the first $80,000 of income per person is tax free?

Retirement can bring a lot more freedom if you have saved enough – and that brings us back to the original question.

Much of the answer depends on your nature and your level of activity. If you want to be on the go all the time you could spend more than you did in your working years. On the other hand, if you hope for a quieter life…reading books, watching TV, pottering in the garden, sharing more in the domestic life of your partner…you may need much less than in your working years.

What sort of person are you?

Other side of the coin

However, there may be another reason for asking about saving enough for retirement. Maybe you already know you don't have enough or that it will be impossible to save enough for your retirement dreams. If this describes your situation, it may not be necessary to give up the dream entirely.

For example, you want to live with an ocean view and the thunder of surf pounding on the rocks but there's no way you can get $1 million or more for a house in such a location. Short of heading to a different country, you might decide to buy a camper and park it in a favorite spot. The view from the window would be the same as from a $1 million home.

Or perhaps, while you are still fit enough, you might buy a boat and enjoy all the pounding surf sounds you want. When that lifestyle loses its appeal, sell the boat and buy a small house.

Working on a retirement plan

The retirement planning section of this website should help you look into the future, set workable goals and adjust them if they are not workable, plan for inflation, know how much you need to save and design a retirement you can be happy with.

Saving enough for retirement is also a matter of starting early enough but if you are one who put that off until retirement didn't seem quite so far away there is little you can do about that now.

Time can never be recaptured, but you can coach children and grandchildren in the very important need to start saving at the youngest age possible.

Return from Saving Enough for Retirement to Savings for Retirement


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