In order to be able to retire well without having to be concerned or worried about running out of money, you must first figure out exactly how much money you really need.
“Too little money makes people desperate; too much money makes people greedy” – Aristotle
“As far as your personal goals are and what you actually want to do with your life, it should never have to do with the government. You should never depend on the government for your retirement, your financial security, for anything. If you do, you’re screwed.”–Drew Carey
“To enjoy a long, comfortable retirement, save more today.”–Suze Orman
Those in the financial industry will tell you many things, but we must remember that they increase their profits by selling more financial products. These can include mutual funds, GIC’s, IRA, RRSP’s, bonds, stocks, IPO’s, life insurance and a range of other products. Many times you will be asked to save as much as possible for as long as possible, regardless of how much you need. But the truth is: Only you can answer that by determining what kind of lifestyle you desire.
“I love the Roth IRA. Tax-free income in retirement is a truly great deal.”–Suze Orman
Here’s a story which illustrates this (Retirement: Now or Later?)
A few years ago, a very rich businessman decided to take a vacation to a small tropical island in the South Pacific. He had worked hard all his life and had decided that now is the time to enjoy the fruits of his labor. He’s excited about visiting the island because he’s heard that there is incredible fishing there. He loved fishing as a young boy, but hadn't gone in years because he had been so busy working to save for his retirement.
On the first day, he had his breakfast and headed to the beach. The time is around 9:30 am. On the beach he spots a fisherman coming in with a large bucket filled with fish!
“How long did you fish for that catch?” he asks.
The fisherman looks at the businessman with a wide grin across his face and explains that he fishes for about three hours every day. The businessman then asks him why he returned so quickly because due to the haul the fisherman has, he’s worried that all the fish are gone.
“Don’t worry”, says the fisherman, “There’s still plenty of fish out there.”
Dumbfounded, the businessman asked the fisherman why he didn’t continue catching more fish. The fisherman patiently explains that what he caught is all he needs.
“I’ll spend the rest of the day playing with my family, talking with my friends and maybe drinking a little wine. After that I’ll relax on the beach.
Now the rich businessman figures he needs to teach this peasant fisherman a thing or two. So he explains to him that he should stay out all day and catch more fish. Then he would be able to save up the extra money he makes and buy an even bigger boat to catch even more fish. Then he would be able to keep reinvesting his profits in even more boats and hire many other fishermen to work for him. Then, if he really works hard, in 20 or 30 years he’ll be a very rich man indeed.
The businessman feels pleased that he’s helped teach this simple fellow how to become rich. However, the fisherman looks at the businessman with a puzzled look on his face and asks him what was he suppose to do after he became very rich. So the businessman responds quickly:
“You can spend time with your family, talk with your friends, and maybe drink a little wine. Or you could just relax on the beach.”
You see, this is a very simple story, but depending on the lifestyle you want – you may be closer to retirement than you think.
It’s quite easy to say that having money is not important; but from one who at one time or another having been in the position of wondering how you are going to eat as a child, I can honestly say and understand that having money is better than not.
How much money is yet another question only you can decide; but having the power to pursue your dreams comfortably is bliss.
“Financial literacy is an issue that should command our attention because many Americans are not adequately organizing finances for their education, healthcare and retirement.”–Ron Lewis
Here is a basic formula you can use to help you calculate how much you really need to retire:
Total current income (your salary) – taxes – work expenses – all debt interest (be debt free before you retire!) + New lower tax expenses (investment tax vs. earned income tax) + costs of your hobbies and desired lifestyle = How much do you need every year after taxes?
Your outcome will determine whether you are ready for Retirement now or later.