How much money do I actually need to retire?

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Everyone's needs are different - and that can make planning for retirement tricky. While you have very unique needs, there are a few basics that you can calculate before moving on to your specialized needs.

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Retirement planning is not a one size fits all deal. Fortunately, there are several rules of thumb to consider when planning a retirement budget.

A couple of examples include the “Multiply by 25 Rule” and the “80 Percent Rule”.

To use the Multiply by 25 rule, determine how much money you want each year during retirement and multiply it by 25. If you want $40,000 to spend each year, you’ll need $1 million in your retirement portfolio.

The 80 percent rule states that you’ll need 80 percent of your current annual income to have a comfortable post-retirement lifestyle. If you make $100,000 now, you’ll need $80,000 a year during retirement.

These simple examples have many factors to consider. When you’re serious about retirement planning, get the advice of a financial advisor to make a personalized plan.

Let’s discuss several factors that play into a retirement budget.


For some, retirement is the perfect time to go on the adventures they didn’t while working. Others look forward to slowing down and enjoying a simpler way of life. Either way, you’ll still need a place to stay, and it’ll likely be one of the higher expenses in retirement (unless you have your housing paid for). Consider how you want to spend your retirement years and where you’ll live.

You can get an idea of future housing costs by looking into things now. For example, if you plan to travel or move abroad, seek out articles that break down living costs in other countries. If you plan to stay closer to home, think about if you’ll downsize into a smaller house, rent or move into a retirement friendly neighborhood. It’ll take some research, but thinking about housing costs now will help you plan for retirement.


Many of us assume that Medicare will cover most of our costs. That’s unfortunately not the case. Medicare Part A, which covers some hospitalization, is free, but you have to pay premiums for Medicare Part B (physician care), supplemental insurance, and prescription coverage in addition to other out-of-pocket costs.

When you combine all of this together, Medicare will only cover about 50-60 percent of your healthcare costs. As time goes on, premiums and out-of-pocket costs will likely increase to match inflation.

To get an estimate of what you may expect to pay in the future, check out this health care cost calculator by HVS Financial.

Health Savings Accounts (HSA) Can Help with More Than Just Healthcare Savings

A Health Savings Account (HSA) can be used to pay for qualified medical expenses. However, once you hit age 65, you can use the money for other expenses too!

You own your HSA, even if you received the account as an employer benefit. It stays with you and can grow for years. In order to contribute, you must be enrolled in a qualified High Deductible Health Plan (HDHP). If your situation changes and your not currently enrolled in an HDHP, you can let the HSA funds grow. HSAs don’t have a specific age when you have to begin withdrawing funds. You can leave your money in the account as long as you want. Due to the tax advantages HSAs offer, they are a great way to save for retirement healthcare costs and other expenses!

Disclaimer: the content presented in this article are for informational purposes only, and is not, and must not be considered tax, investment, legal, accounting or financial planning advice, nor a recommendation as to a specific course of action. Investors should consult all available information, including fund prospectuses, and consult with appropriate tax, investment, accounting, legal, and accounting professionals, as appropriate, before making any investment or utilizing any financial planning strategy.