Cypress Wealth Services
Retiring comfortably could mean spending your golden years close to your hometown, near family and friends. It could also mean finally traveling the world or moving to a warm, sunny climate. Whatever your retirement goals, it’s important to have an idea of how much it will cost you.
We have all heard that you need a million dollars to retire comfortably, but that can vastly differ from person to person depending on their needs or desires. Here are 8 questions you should ask yourself when figuring out how much money you need for your retirement.
Your age (now and in retirement) is one of the most significant factors to consider when determining how much money you need to save. If you want to retire early, you’ll have fewer years to save for a longer retirement. And if you start claiming Social Security benefits before full retirement age, you’ll also have to factor in a smaller monthly benefit amount. The state of the stock market can also play a role in how much money you need and how long your money lasts. A Vanguard study found that you have a 31% higher chance of running out of money if you retire during a bear market.(*1) Of course, you have no way of knowing if we’ll be in a bear or bull market when you retire—but this is a scenario you must account for in your retirement planning.
Have you thought about the type of lifestyle you want to have in retirement? If you know you want to travel, play golf, or spend time with your grandkids, you need to factor in what that looks like and how much it will cost.
For example, if you plan to travel, you’ll need to consider:
Even if your dream is simply to spend time with your grandkids, you’ll still need to think through your expectations and expenses. To some people, “spending time with grandkids” means babysitting a few times a week. To others, it means footing the bill for all-expenses-paid trips to various destinations of their choosing. Whatever it is you want to do with your time, map out the details so you can have a clear picture of how much you’ll need to make it a reality.
Working during your retirement is a great way to stay active, keep your mind sharp, and maintain a sense of purpose. Some retirees choose to build a second career through consulting. Others decide to pick up a low-stress, part-time job at a family office or retail store. No matter what you do, if you plan to work during retirement, you won’t have to save as much to live comfortably.
Bringing debt into retirement has two major drawbacks:
If you carry debt, take a close look at what you owe and figure out how much cash flow you’ll need in retirement to cover these expenses. Some people prefer to pay off any high-interest consumer debt before they retire. Others will take it one step further by paying down their mortgage and auto loans too.
Right now, you most likely have health insurance through your employer. When you stop working, you’ll need to secure healthcare coverage another way. You may be able to hop on your spouse’s plan if he or she is still working. Or you can get coverage through the healthcare marketplace. You qualify for Medicare starting at age 65, but even then, you may want additional coverage to pay for prescription drugs, dental care, eye exams, and other expenses.
Retirees sometimes fail to fully plan for expenses during the later stages of retirement, and medical care often tops the list. Various studies have estimated healthcare costs after age 65 ranging from $169,000 to $404,253 per couple.(*3) Don’t let this be a planning oversight that prevents you from retiring comfortably!
Your kids may be grown and out of the house by the time you retire, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll stop supporting them financially. Almost 80% of parents said they still give financial support to their adult children (ages 18 to 34), according to a Merrill Lynch study.(*3)
And even if you aren’t helping your kids out with daily expenses, you may want to contribute to their weddings or down payments on home purchases down the road.
Housing may be your biggest expense in retirement. And even if your home is paid off, you might want to consider downsizing to a smaller place that requires less maintenance and has cheaper utility costs.
To save even more, you can think about relocating to an area that has an overall lower cost of living. For example, the cost of living in Towson, Maryland, is 17.9% higher than the national U.S. average.(*4) But move just 30 miles northeast to Aberdeen, MD, and the cost of living is 1.6% below the U.S. average!(*5)
The average 65-year-old man has a 35% chance of living until age 90; that rate goes up to 46% for a woman the same age.(*6) And while life expectancy is unpredictable, if your family has a strong history of living to age 90 and beyond, your chances may be even greater than these odds. In this case, you’ll need to determine if your planned retirement savings will last long enough.
Similarly, if you have known health conditions and/or a family history of health problems that could affect your life span, you’ll want to consider this too.
If only figuring out how much you need for a comfortable retirement was as simple as a one-and-done formula. On the contrary, it requires a deep dive into your financial situation, family history, and goals.
We at Cypress Wealth Services strive to take the complications out of financial management while still making it a priority to understand your unique needs and inspire you to be more confident in your financial decisions—including figuring out how much you need to save for retirement. Outsource your anxieties to us; we’ll be in charge of protecting your wealth while you live within a personalized retirement plan.
If you’d like to partner with a financial planner who will help you find the right balance between enjoying life and protecting your nest egg, call our office at 866.888.6563 or contact one of our offices today.
Cypress Wealth Services is an independent RIA firm providing financial planning and investment management to high net worth individuals, families, business owners, and institutions. Cypress Wealth Services comprises professionals with diverse backgrounds and extensive experience and qualifications. Cypress Wealth Services is uniquely qualified to serve a broad range of client needs, and their experience and expertise act as a foundation for their client service process. The firm uses The Second Growth, which focuses on efficiently protecting, growing, and transferring to their loved ones the wealth and legacy a person has already built. With financial advisors in Palm Desert, CA, Tustin, CA, and Anchorage, AK, the firm serves clients across the country in Wealth Management Services, Fiduciary Services, 401(k) Design, and Management, Investment Reporting Services, Financial and Retirement Planning, and more. For more information, visit www.CypressWS.com or call 760.834.7250.
(*3)- https://blog.massmutual.com/post/parents-supporting-adult-children-the-good-and-bad#:~:text=Many%20 parents%20provided%20financial%20support%20to%20adult%20children&text=Seventy%2Dnine%20 percent%20of%20 parents,Lynch%20survey%20of%202%2C500%20 parents