The biggest worry for me (as for most people) when it comes to retirement is THE MONEY. What is enough? Will I outlive my money? What if something unplanned happens that sucks it all up?
Every financial website has a retirement calculator. I used the one from my bank just today:
I like that it allows you to play around with the numbers to see how that changes the outcome. For example, if I want to live on 45K/year in my “golden years” instead of 60K, I need a whole lot less money squirrelled away. (Even 45K seems somewhat extravagant for my particular lifestyle/circumstances so early retirement is looking more and more promising.)
One thing I have learned from my mother’s retirement is that you don’t need the whack load of money most financial planners say you do. Mom certainly did not have anywhere near the money they advise you to have in her savings and her second husband had even less. Yet, they still were able to do all the things they wanted to do. They lived comfortably yet modestly all their working lives and continued to do so in retirement. They were able to travel and indulge their love of camping and Mom’s (in particular) passion for computers and electronic gadgets. Mom had both a MacBook and an iPad long before I could afford one!
And Mom still left (lots of…too much) money to us kids when she died, at age 79. In fact, she had trouble using up all the bucks she had to withdraw from her RRIF every year and used to hand out cheques to her family every once in a while “because she wanted to see us enjoy the money while she still lived”.
This article echoes a lot of my same thoughts on this subject:
As I continue to gather data on what I need to live, research how I want to live, and talk to my own financial advisor about retirement (early or not) I am becoming – dare I say it – relaxed about eventually giving up my paycheque. My biggest worry is rapidly being whittled down to a more manageable size.