By Dana Anspach via Iris.xyz

The question is not “When can I retire?” it’s “When can I retire so I don’t run out of money in my lifetime?” Wouldn’t it be great if there were a simple answer to tell you how much you need to retire without financial worry? Everyone is different, and the right amount for you will be different than the right amount for your neighbor. However, there are calculations each of us can make to determine if we have enough to retire and live the life we want.

Happy Retirees Plan Ahead

While it makes sense to gauge how much you will need, many of us avoid the topic because we fear the situation is hopeless and that we’ll never have enough. And, planning for retirement forces us to face the fact that we are aging. Yikes! While the ostrich approach of putting your head in the sand and doing nothing is the easiest approach, it doesn’t lead to the best outcomes. It is far less stressful to do the math, face reality, and figure out an action plan than it is to get to retirement and come up short.

Research shows the happiest retirees start planning at least five years before their desired retirement date. I wish people would start planning even earlier than that – the earlier you start to plan, the more knowledgeable you become about your situation, your options, and the financial arena. Knowledge is not only power, it is also comfort.

The sooner you run the calculations, the sooner you will find out if have enough to retire by a specific age. If you don’t have enough, by planning ahead, you can proactively address your options to improve your future. There are plenty of choices available to you, especially if you’re open to making changes to your lifestyle. Perhaps you can work a bit longer, find ways to earn extra money, reduce expenses, or move to a lower cost area, such as from the suburbs to a metropolitan area where you don’t need a car, or from a high-tax state to a small town in a different area of the country.

Click here to read the full story on Iris.xyz.

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