Personal Finance

Retirement Income Target

  • Last Updated:
  • Nov 19th, 2019 1:28 pm
Deal Guru
User avatar
Sep 1, 2005
10865 posts
Everyone's situation is so different so unfortunately almost any rule of thumb doesn't mean anything IMO. I know ppl who can survive on $20k and I also know ppl who can't survive on $100k.

It all depends...where do you live, what hobbies do you have, how much do you spend on hobbies, do you have expensive hobbies or cheaps ones, do you have well off parents, siblings (inheritances), do you own a small home or a big home currently, do you want to snow bird, do you like to eat out (expensive/cheap), do you cook, do you shop at Whole Foods or No Frills now, are you into Organic/grass fed/hormone free food, do you grow your own, do you buy name brand expensive label clothes or just functional, when you travel do you stay at Hilton or whatever you can find that's cheap and clean and safe, do ppl in your family live to 100 or not, do you have kids (who can help in retirement) ..I could go on with questions but I think you get the drift.

The best advice is rather than get caught up in the mystical retirement income figure (when you're 30 or even 40), live reasonably and within your means, save on a regular basis (by paycheck) a reasonable amount (I'd say 20% or more if someone else is paying for your living, or 10%-20% in the child raising younger years - that figure again depends), invest reasonably to grow your money (50%-80% equities) and when you reach retirement you'll have a certain amount saved up. Figure out how much you can safely take out of there and add pensions and think of it like a new job that pays $X and you have to live within this new "means".

If all of what I said is daunting, consider working with a good Financial Advisor who can work with you today (likely not making much) and later (when you have more).
We're all bozos on the bus until we find a way to express ourselves...

Failure is always an option...just not the preferred one!
Jr. Member
Jan 14, 2013
123 posts
Lots of good info in this thread. I've tried lots of different ways of looking at this. This is my favorite: I broke my budget into 3 columns: 1) Current spending that will continue after retirement. 2) Spending that will be finished by retirement - including spending on kids, mortgage, etc. and 3) Money put into savings.

2 and 3 are done. I only need money to provide for #1. So I take that number, figure out what I need to have in savings and CPP to make that happen. Pad it for unforeseen circumstances and taxes.

For me this number is way, way less than 50%. I'm fortunate to be earning well above expectation and have put much of that into savings. I was pretty disciplined to not grow in the lifestyle, and luckily my partner earns well and shares the mentality. The result is that I will probably retire a few years early and live the same lifestyle, or if work is still fun, continue and live accordingly.