What do you need to do to retire with $1 million?


Washington Post, August 14, 2017

Did I have you at $1 million?

Look, I actually think you shouldn’t worry yourself sick about having millions saved for retirement – even $1 million. How much you need to save to have a comfortable retirement depends on so much.

My grandmother Big Mama didn’t have $1 million saved. She had exactly $20,000 saved. And you know how much she had when she died some 20 years after retiring?

She had $20,000.

Big mama lived off her Social Security benefit and a small pension. The key was she didn’t want for much so she kept her expenses low. She paid off her home before she retired. And she hated debt so she didn’t carry any into retirement.

But you may want more.

So what would it take to save $1 million or more for retirement? Here’s some reading that may help you achieve that goal.
— How do I retire with $1 million?

— Start with $10,000 and retire a millionaire

— Do you need $1 million to retire? Maybe.

Now, here’s the thing. Don’t read these articles and get depressed. Don’t get discouraged. Whatever you end up saving will help. It’s better than not saving anything.

Retirement rants and raves

I’m interested in your experiences or concerns about retirement.

Did you retire early and if so, how did you do it?

Is retirement everything you hoped for?

Are you scared you’ll run out of money?

Your sharing might help others. So send your comments to colorofmoney@washpost.com. Please include your name, city and state. In the subject line put “Retirement Rants and Raves.”

Not a rant or a rave but John Wickizer of Arizona offered some great insight about retirement.

He’s 74 and his wife is 75. Both are retired. It’s not money he wanted to talk about.

“The reason I am writing is to alert those in retirement mode not to get overly caught up the lives of their adult children and grandchildren,” Wickizer wrote. “Will they at some point in their lives have to face financial challenges? Yes, you bet. Most of us who love our children and grandchildren want to make their lives as easy and comfortable as possible.”

But take a pause. Maybe you shouldn’t be giving so much, Wickizer says.

“We have found the more we give to make their lives easier the more they want and/or need,” he wrote. “I know a lot of folks out there will say, ‘Just cut them off.’ If it were only that easy! But there has to be a point of reasonableness, I have to make sure our needs are first met, then anything above our set retirement monies can be considered to aid others! I guess more than anything it’s dealing with uncertain times both politically and economically, the state of our old world in balancing on a thin wire, no one knows what will bring our castles tumbling down! Just be wise in your giving! Good luck out there!”

Read more here.

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