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Updated: Aug 9, 2023

By: George Jameson, CFP®, MBA

Welcome to the latest edition of the "Capital Wealth Group" newsletter. In this issue, we'll dive into one of the most common questions I receive from individuals aged 50 and above: "How much money do you need to retire?" This topic is very important, and I'm happy to share a straightforward framework to help you determine the amount you'll need to enjoy a comfortable retirement.

There are many Financial experts who have offered various rules of thumb regarding how much you need to retire. Some say you need anywhere between 70% to 90% of your pre-retirement income in retirement.

Then you have others suggest saving 10 to 12 times your pre-retirement salary for a comfortable retirement. But what’s right for you? Because there are so many variables, there really isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution or rule of thumb when it comes to estimating the amount needed to retire. The amount you need will vary depending on several factors.

I will provide a straightforward framework to help you determine how much money you will need. This will give you a much more precise estimate than the 70 to 90% rule of thumb. The approach I use to answer this question, involves answering three basic questions and comparing the results.

1. How Long Will Your Retirement Last?

The first step in calculating your retirement needs is to estimate how long your retirement will last. While we cannot predict our exact lifespan, we can arrive at a reasonable estimate. Look at your family history for clues and consider using online life expectancy calculators like "" I suggest planning for at least age 90 or 95, and possibly up to 100 if you have family members who lived well into their 90s.

2. What Are Your Estimated Expenses in Retirement?

To determine your retirement expenses, start by calculating your current average monthly expenses. Use your past 12 months of credit cards and bank statements to create a list of expenses by category. Online budgeting tools like "," "," or "Everydollar" can be useful.

Consider adjustments for retirement, such as the elimination of mortgage payments if your house will be paid off, reduced maintenance costs from downsizing, and additional expenses like travel or hobbies. Factor in potential costs like health insurance until you're eligible for Medicare and long-term care insurance if needed.

3. What Is Your Projected Income in Retirement?

Calculate three types of income for retirement:

a. Guaranteed Income: This includes Social Security, Pensions, and income annuities.

b. Other Income: Consider income from rental properties, royalties, part-time jobs, or side businesses.

c. Income from Savings and Investments: Utilize a withdrawal strategy, such as the 4% Rule, to estimate income from your portfolio.

Putting It All Together:

Let's look at an example, let's assume you require $100k in retirement income based on your estimated expenses. You and your spouse are both 63 and plan to retire at 65, starting Social Security at 65. Social Security will provide a combined $50k after tax, leaving a $50k gap to be generated from investments. Based on the 4% rule and a 50/50 portfolio, you'll need around $1.25M.

Important Considerations:

  • Remember to account for taxes on withdrawals and consider more conservative withdrawal strategies for longer retirements or portfolios.

  • The best time for both spouses to claim Social Security may vary based on individual circumstances.

In Conclusion:

I hope this article has provided valuable guidance on calculating your retirement needs. Remember to plan for unexpected costs and life's surprises. As always, I'm here to assist you with your retirement plan.

If you enjoyed this article, kindly checkout our podcast, "The Retirement Guide" by: George Jameson for more valuable insights on retirement planning.

For further assistance or to discuss your retirement plan, feel free to reach out to me, George Jameson, with Capital Wealth Group. Our website is

Until next time, stay informed, stay secure, and retire with confidence!

Best regards,

George Jameson, CFP®, MBA, Capital Wealth Group

Disclaimer: The information discussed in this newsletter is for general explanations and education only. It is not tax, legal, or investment advice. Before considering acting on any information mentioned here, consult with your tax, legal, or investment advisor. Thank you and have a great day!

Learn more about "Capital Wealth Group" and George Jameson, CFP®, MBA, a financial advisor based in Columbia, SC, CLICK HERE!

George can be reached at (803) 250-6464 or

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