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How Much Money Should You Save for Retirement?

How Much Money Should You Save for Retirement?

By Sarah Butrymowicz, USA TODAY

Consider tracking expenses with spreadsheet

Arvon Glaser
Overland Park, Kan.
Family: Divorced, two children
Age: 64
Job before retirement: Manager at DuPont

In order to see if the 70%-to-80% rule applies, I put together a spreadsheet with all of my preretirement monthly expenses vs. income and then did a second one with my expected retirement monthly expenses vs. expected income (pension, Social Security, investments) and compared the two. My spreadsheet indicated that I could make it on 80% of my preretirement income.

I spent a lot of time planning for my retirement, looking closely at my expected expenses and income. I had a financial adviser run the numbers for me to see if my own planning system was on the mark, and I was glad to see it was.

In retirement, I found I was spending less on business items like clothes, parking, tolls, etc., and spending more on eating out, travel and paying a larger percentage of my medical and dental insurance than before.

I diligently update my retirement spreadsheet to see where I am vs. where I thought I would be. So far, no big surprises.

There are several major things a person needs to take into account when planning to retire, including what type of mortgage they have, if they will be receiving a pension or Social Security, and if they will still work part time.

Err on the side of being too conservative and on the frugal side.

If a person makes a bad mistake when they retire, there’s little chance you can go back and “earn” your way out of trouble.


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