So how much do you need to save for retirement?
According to Fidelity research, you should aim to have:
10X your salary saved by retirement – at age 67.
Let’s think about that. Assume at the time you retire you are earning $75,000 per year. Ten times your salary is $750,000. That amount will generate about $30,000 in annual income withdrawing 4% per year – assuming you retire around age 65 – 67, so that the money will last until age 95. Retire early and all bets are off.
At age 67 your estimated Social Security benefit is $2,059.00 per month or $24,708 per year.
So, using the 10X guideline you can have about $54,708 in retirement income or about 73% of your annual income.
Being married may increase the social security more than 12k since working spouses are more common than not nowadays. Also the working spouse may also have retirement savings. Back to your example, with a non working spouse and having 10% shaved off your gross working income and fica coming out also. Your working salary won’t be appreciably different than retirement income. I don’t see a problem. Of course Fidelity would love to have more investment income to manage so they think the more you save is necessary.
I know people who live on 40-50% of pre-retirement income and claim to live comfortably. Of course, live comfortably has a wide definition. I worked until my combined retirement income was equal to my pre-retirement base pay. While I was no longer saving at the same rate, I still save in retirement and I pay much more for Medicare and supple tax coverage than I did when working. We also spend a considerable amount on all types of travel, something we didn’t do while working.
If a person is living off social security and investment income, starting off with 70% or less seems risky to me. A few years of bad stock markets may mean cutting back spending or risking running out of money. Every retirement is different, but to me the goal should be to maintain, if not enhance ones lifestyle, not just get by.
I understand where you’re coming from. Extra money in retirement is a good thing. In the first example I was referring to the actual take home pay and it about equals the available retirement income so the living standard stays the same. Obviously there is no extra for a bigger travel budget and other niceties and much of a bequest. At 75000 per year, I don’t think anybody expects a lavish retirement.