Getty Images / Jacob Wackerhausen

Have you ever wondered how much money you need to retire? It’s a big question and has a complicated answer. But, there are some ways to estimate how much money you’ll need to retire comfortably. So, how much do you need to retire?

Before we get into those numbers, let’s look at how the age at which you retire impacts how much retirement you currently get from Social Security. What is the maximum Social Security retirement benefit payable? According to Faq.ssa.gov, the maximum benefit is dependent on the age you retire. “For example, if you retire at full retirement age in 2024, your maximum benefit would be $3,822,” they state. “However, if you retire at age 62 in 2024, your maximum benefit would be $2,710. If you retire at age 70 in 2024, your maximum benefit would be $4,873.” Also, when you want to apply for retirement benefits, you can do so using their online retirement application here.

You’re able to apply for your monthly retirement benefit as early as 62 years old. You can apply any time between age 62 and 70. The government calculates your payment by looking at how much money you’ve earned during your entire career. “The amount will be higher the longer you wait to apply, up until age 70,” they explain. “The timing is up to you and should be based on your own personal needs.” They also have a handy tool to estimate how much you’ll get when you apply at different ages. Find the tool here. They also have a chart here where you can look at various dates and see how much retirement you get if you were born in those years. Wow. I have a ways to go, looking at those dates.

So, how much do you need to retire? Let’s look at what some experts say and how to find out your needs.

  • It depends on when you want to retire

    The age you want to retire can have a massive impact on the amount you need to save. If you delay your retirement, it gives your savings longer to grow, and your Social Security benefit will be higher. So, the longer you can delay, the better. In other words, working longer will make it easier save enough money to retire.

  • What kind of retirement lifestyle do you want?

    Do you want to really live it up in your retirement, or will you be frugal? If you think your expenses might go up in your retirement, you have to save for it. But, if you plan to downsize, you can retire on less.

  • How much can you withdraw from savings each year?

    The AARP sources a 1998 study from Trinity College in Texas, which attempted to “find the most sustainable withdrawal rate from retirement savings accounts over various time periods.” In conclusion, the study stated that “an investor with a portfolio of 50 percent stocks and 50 percent bonds could withdraw 4 percent of the portfolio in the first year and adjust the withdrawal amount by the rate of inflation each subsequent year with little danger of running out of money before dying.”

  • Retirement calculator

    Fidelity has a handy calculator that will help you figure how how much you need to retire. First, they ask, what is your age? Then, what is the age you expect to retire? Finally, what do you think your lifestyle will be in retirement? Use their calculator HERE, and they’ll give you some useful estimates.

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