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Old 05-04-2015, 06:53 PM
 
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So, please look at the slide show and let me know what you think of these numbers. Thank you.

The Average American's Retirement Number
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Old 05-04-2015, 07:10 PM
 
Location: USA
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Numbers are not bad. Social Security offers a good check.
If someone had a professional career and got the maximum benefit of $2663 and their spouse gets 75% of the average $1332 or $999 that's a joint income of $3662 a month. Using the 4% rule that's the equivalent of having a nest egg of $1.1 million.
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Old 05-04-2015, 07:37 PM
 
Location: Idaho
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I used to be pretty enthusiastic when I read a Motley Fool article. However, having read enough, I've learned to take what they say with a 'grain of salt'.
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Old 05-04-2015, 07:41 PM
 
Location: North Carolina
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The accuracy of this (especially with Social Security) and the general uncertainty of inflation and other unknowns varies widely. While it may be a good guide for someone who is 60 right now, it seems much less certain for a 40 year old, and even less so for a 20 year old who's just entering the workforce.
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Old 05-04-2015, 07:42 PM
 
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I'd say good ball park numbers really.
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Old 05-04-2015, 09:37 PM
 
Location: Los Angeles area
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it all seems pretty reasonable to me too.
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Old 05-05-2015, 07:36 AM
 
Location: Tennessee
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Probably more reasonable than similar articles I've seen.

The "spent $42k" number may be the national average, but I think it's going to be overstated for folks in a lot of the country.

Before retirement, most folks' biggest expense is housing. By the time you retire between the normal retirement ages of 55-65, you probably have the house paid off or nearly so. If one stays in reasonably decent health throughout their early retirement, you should have a fairly substantial reduction in housing and transportation expenses, without incurring hefty medical bills.

Also, if you're spending $42k, you've had to clear $42k if you didn't go into debt. A lot of people (even couples) in poor areas don't make that.
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Old 05-05-2015, 07:48 AM
 
Location: Jamestown, NY
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The problem with this "article" is that virtually nobody is "average". Using a median, which is the point where half of the sample is above and half of the sample is below is much more meaningful which is why most analysis of US census and ACS data on incomes uses median rather than mean.

A relatively small percentage of the sample earning/spending a very lot of money can obscure the fact that most of the sample earns/spends much, much less. An example:

#1: $ 100,000
#2: $ 100,000
#3: $ 75,000
#4: $ 30,000
#5: $ 17,000
#6: $ 15,000
#8: $ 13,000
#9: $ 10,000
#10: $ 10,000

Total: $370,000
Mean (average): $37,000
Median: $ 17,001


The US median household income in the US in 2013 was about $52k. For those over 65, it was about $35k. For those between 45-54 it was about $67k. For those 55 to 64, it was about $58k. (Median Household Incomes by Age Bracket: 1967-2013).

I did not look for figures for median expenditures, but I'm sure that they're available with some digging.
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Old 05-05-2015, 08:05 AM
 
Location: Tennessee
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^ Right - I am not a big fan of using the mean for these reasons.

Being from east TN, my hometown's median family income isn't even $42k, and it stands to reckon seniors would be making, and thus spending, much less.

Most of the Silent retirees I know there all have had their homes paid off for many years, rarely go anywhere, and medical expenses are probably their biggest bill. My grandmother is 79, doesn't travel unless taken somewhere, might go "into town" twice a week, so she spends very little gas, etc. Lots of folks in that generation are similar.

I think $42k is going to be high except for those that have live in high cost areas or have a substantial budget and desire to do things.
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Old 05-05-2015, 09:52 AM
 
Location: Jamestown, NY
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Emigrations View Post
^ Right - I am not a big fan of using the mean for these reasons.

Being from east TN, my hometown's median family income isn't even $42k, and it stands to reckon seniors would be making, and thus spending, much less.

Most of the Silent retirees I know there all have had their homes paid off for many years, rarely go anywhere, and medical expenses are probably their biggest bill. My grandmother is 79, doesn't travel unless taken somewhere, might go "into town" twice a week, so she spends very little gas, etc. Lots of folks in that generation are similar.

I think $42k is going to be high except for those that have live in high cost areas or have a substantial budget and desire to do things.
I think you've hit on the the second problem with this "article": regional differences. There's all kinds of threads in this forum on low COL areas and high COL states, but even within some of the high COL states, seniors can very well live fairly inexpensively in some areas but not in others. For example, retiring in NYC is going to be much more expensive than retiring in Buffalo. I'm thinking East Tennessee is probably cheaper than retiring in Nashville.
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