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I’m 59, and make close to $100K annually. I’d like to retire in 2 years. Generally speaking, how much money should I have in my savings and in my retirement accounts to maintain a fairly comfortable or reasonable standard of living upon retirement?


Generally speaking, there’s no way to speak generally about what someone will need to make ends meet, and then some, in retirement. For one thing, comfortable and reasonable are in the eye of the beholder. What’s enough for some people would make for the barest survival for others and put still others in the lap of luxury.
How much you will need depends on such factors as whether you are married and have kids to support and whether your home is paid off. However much you decide will meet your needs and wants each year, given your personal circumstances, a good rule of thumb is that your assets should equal 20 to 25 times that amount. That means you’ll be going through no more than 4 percent to 5 percent of your retirement fund each year, but keep in mind that the capital probably will be growing each year through the income it earns. Even if you keep a hyper-safe mix of high-quality bonds and cash, it’s unlikely that the balance will decline by more than a percentage point or two in any year. That should keep you going for as long as you keep going, with plenty left over.
-Conrad de Aenlle