I can tell you exactly what you need to do planning for retirement…

Of course I can’t. Only you can do that. So get crackin‼️

Motley Fool has come up with five things you should do to make retirement easier:

  1. Make a plan
  2. Consult a financial advisor
  3. Make the most of retirement accounts
  4. Don’t forget healthcare costs
  5. Make smart Social Security decisions

Good advice, of course, but you would think it all comes under the common sense category … but sadly it doesn’t. Too many people simply ask others, how much do I need to retire?” Or “how much will I spend in retirement?”

Hey, only you can answer those questions, one size does not fit all.

Your plan includes when you will retire, where you will retire and an estimated budget along with a realistic assessment of income sources.

Once you have your saving in motion (as much as possible, but at least 10% of income), an advisor will help with the investing and withdrawal strategy.

Max any employer matching contributions and think Roth

Medicare Part B premiums, Medigap premiums, Part D premiums and perhaps some out-of-pocket costs. Don’t forget Medicare premiums are income based.

Your Social Security benefit grows as you get older or I should say is reduced each month you begin collecting before age 70. The goal is not to max your total collected benefit, but to maximize your monthly income when you need it to live on.


  1. The thing that helped us the most in trying to determine if and when we could retire was to try and live on what we would have in retirement prior to retiring. Once we paid off the house and had no other loans, we took our best guess at what we would have for monthly income at retirement. We then limited ourselves to spending no more than that estimated retirement amount and determined if we were satisfied with the lifestyle we could have. We also banked all the extra money we had coming in during that period to provide a buffer in case we were wrong about future retirement income. We did this for five years prior to retirement and eventually were able to feel comfortable with the lifestyle we would have and based on that retired.


  2. I think that the first question that should be asked in response to how much money do I need to retire is how much in debt are you now? That will determine the plan and everything else. I am amazed at the number of people who buy houses late in life and plan on carrying a mortgage until death. Or plan to charge their retirement vacations, a big boat, or other hobbies they can’t afford now. The list just goes on and on of poor financial choices but some people think they can just stop working.


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