By Ernie J. Zelinski
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Your Retirement Number May Be Better than

My Retirement Number  Or Is It?

My Retirement Number Is $643,434! What is yours?

Apparently we all shoud be seriously concerned about our retirement number: the amount of money we will need to have socked away in order to be confident that our post retirement income and retirement life will meet our expectations.

Incidentally, everyone's retirement number is different, so stay away from mine.

“The Retirement Number” has become what many retirement planners and financial advisors focus on in retirement planning.

There is even a book titled The Number: What Do You Need for the Rest of Your Life and What Will It Cost?

Surprisingly this book has sold around 100,000 copies in both its hardcover and tradeback editions.

Yet on Amazon this book gets an average of 3 star rating out of 5 stars by 113 readers.

My retirement book How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free has sold over 400,000 copies with foreign editions but nowhere do I talk about your retirement number or my retirement number.

`Retirement Cafe Book 

But many retirement planning websites and simple retirement calculator websites besides the book The Number tout the importance of your retirement number and my retirement number.

For instance, ING, on their simple retirement calculator page Your Number claims that “Every person has one,” and defines it as “The amount you will need to have saved to retire the way you want.”

On this simple retirement calculator page, they show an example that changes each time someone visits the page.

When I visited the page, I was greeted with, "David found his number $1,219,779."

Surrounding this notice were notes such as “Now that I’ve found my number, I’m one step closer to retirement,” "Knowing my number helps me plan for my future" and "Borrowing books from the library can save me $9,959 over 30 years."

I have now the gloomy prospect of retiring from office loaded with serious debts, which will materially affect the tranquility of my retirement.
— Thomas Jefferson

The implication is straight forward  and quite scary.

If you haven’t saved “your number” by the time you are ready to retire, you won't have the retirement that you dream of  or you won't be able to retire at all.

Even worse, if you are forced into retirement because of health or job loss, you will be destitute, even living in a card board box (without many luxuries).

Perhaps if you have at least a low number, you can equip your card board box with a heater and air conditioner. You may be too old to get a retirement job, however.
Back to ING, which provides a simple calculator for you to find the number that applies to you.

This is intriguing indeed.

Just fill in your age, your present income, what age you plan to retire at, how much retirement income you will require, and how long you want the money to last, etc., and your number pops up (cleverly in the same font and orange color as in the commercials). I did it, and discovered two things:

These are the figures that I plugged in response to the questions so that I could get my number and compare it to my retirement plan.

How old are you? 61 Years old

Are you married? No

Present income? $100,000

What age do you plan to retire? 63 Years old

How much annual income will you require during retirement? $60,000

Provide income through what age? 81 Years old

With these figures, the simple calculator cranked out my retirement number to be $643,434.

There appears to be major problem, however: I only have $375.000 in my retirement savings accounts and I don't have any company pension.

On the other hand, I have been semi-retired for almost twenty years. In fact, I semi-retired when my net worth was minus $30,000 (due to student loans). Of course, some people will say that this is impossible but they are ignorant of what is possible. I have done it. Results don't lie.

ING's simple retirement calculator is also apparently wrong in my case, because I am already living the retirement life that many retirees and the soon-to-be retired aspire to.

Above all, my retirement life is retirement living at its best  having the freedom to do what I want when I want and still having some enjoyable retirement work to keep my mind alive and creative including a writing a new book called How NOT to Retire BROKE! How to Save $250,000 or More in Seven Years or Less.

In short, I am sure that many Americans and Canadians think that $250,000 would be a pretty good number for them.


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Some Retirement Number Quotes

The Ideal Retirement Plan: "Marry an old rich broad and wait for her to die."
— Ivan Wilson (commenting on an online article about retirment.)

If you have debt and you are going into retirement,
I don't think you are ready for retirement,"
— Gary Gilgen, Financial Advisor at Rehmann Financial

Have You Attained Your Financial Number  But Are Afraid of Being Bored In Retirement?

The World's Best Retirement Book Will Help You

 Retire Happy, Wild, and Free 


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