How to Estimate Your Retirement Income
Once you stop working, though, you need a way to support your dreams of a preferred lifestyle. But how much retirement income should you aim for? And how do you find “your number”?
Experts like to say that you need 70% to 80% (don't forget about inflation) of your current income to make it in retirement.
You can either work to build up income streams that provide you with monthly income, or you can work to create a large enough nest egg to handle your needed withdrawals.
But how much retirement income should you aim for? And how do you find “your number”?
Finding Your Number
A good place to start is how much you think you will need each month to live the life you want in retirement. You can estimate using your current expenses as a guideline. How much do you need right now to live? Even if you plan to have your home paid off by retirement, the savings on your mortgage will likely be offset by things like higher health care costs and more vacations (everyone likes more vacations, right?).
Experts like to say that you need 70% to 80% of your current income to make it in retirement, but if you want to travel, or do other things, you might need 100% of your current income – or even more.
Also, don’t forget about inflation. There are numerous online inflation calculators that can help you convert today’s dollars to tomorrow’s dollars.
Figure out how you will get the income you need. You can either work to build up income streams that provide you with monthly income, or you can work to create a large enough nest egg to handle your needed withdrawals.
Are You on Track?
Now that you know how much you require, it’s time to determine if you are on track to hitting your retirement goals. How much you set aside now can make a big difference later, thanks to the power of compound interest.
Betterment’s advice feature lets users know if they are on or off track to achieving their goals and makes a number of recommendations to improve the likelihood of success. The advice can be customized and executed with the click of a mouse.
As You Near Retirement
As you near retirement, your estimates and plans will be put to the test. If you retired in the last ten years, you would’ve faced a different world than if you retired today. The stock market fell and then recovered, which is great for people years from retirement. It’s stressful for those near or in retirement.
Review your plan and see if you’re going to land on or beyond your number. If you’re short of it, you may need to continue working a few more years to give your investments some time to recover and boost your income before retirement. There’s no shame in working a few extra years, sometimes plans don’t work out and you’re fortunate enough to be able to react to them.
As for right now, put together a plan and stick to it. If you don’t, you might find out – too late – that you don’t have enough to live the life you want.
Can You Have a 401(K) and an IRA?
This is a great question. The answer is yes, you can have both. Should you have both? It depends.
Frequently Asked Questions about Betterment
Just starting out exploring Betterment? These are the frequently asked questions that help people find their way.
How We Use Your Dividends To Keep Your Tax Bill Low
Every penny that comes into your account is used to rebalance dynamically—and in a tax-savvy way.
Explore your first goal
This is a great place to start—an emergency fund for life's unplanned hiccups. A safety net is a conservative portfolio.
Whether it's a long way off or just around the corner, we'll help you save for the retirement you deserve.
If you want to invest and build wealth over time, then this is the goal for you. This is an excellent goal type for unknown future needs or money you plan to pass to future generations.