How Much Money You May Need To Retire.

Mark Rosenberg

July 20, 2016

Although you may not retire for another twenty or thirty years, estimating how much money you may need to support the retirement you envision can help you determine how much you may need to save each month. While we have calculators on our site that can provide rough numbers, the better approach is to consult your financial advisor, who can review your financial situation and goals, help you determine how large a nest egg you may need, and create a financial plan for moving toward that amount.

Of course, the longer the earnings on your investments have to compound—that is, potentially generate earnings themselves—the less income you may need to contribute to reach your savings goal.

To illustrate this point, let’s take a look at two hypothetical investors: Sarah and Jay. Both invest the same amount—$2,000 per month for twenty years—and earn the same rate of return—6% an- nually. However, Sarah invests $2,000 per month from age 40 to 60, and then leaves the money in her account where it continues to compound until she retires at age 70. Jay gets a later start, investing $2,000 per month from age 50 to 70.

Despite contributing the same overall amount and earning the same rate, at age 70, Sarah’s savings amount to approximately $1.69 million and Jay’s to $929,000 simply because Sarah’s savings had ten more years to compound. For Jay to accumulate Sarah’s amount by age 70, he would have needed to invest about $3,640 per month—$1,640 more per month than Sarah. (This is a hypothetical example for illustrative purposes; your results will vary.)

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