How Much You Need to Retire
First, you get my opinion. What are my credentials? Well, I've retired four times, going back to work each time except the last one. This could either be viewed as "experienced, therefore can give advice" or "hasn't gotten it right in 3 tries, therefore shouldn't give advice". I'll go with the former and give some advice. You, of course, can ignore it or follow it, as you wish. Also, I wasn't real serious about staying out until this last time.
The amount it takes to retire depends upon one factor only -- how expensively you plan to live. I wrote a book a few years ago entitled "Retire and Travel for $1000 a Month" -- Click here to go read it online. My wife claims she could write a rebuttal demonstrating how no sane person would try it for $1000 per month. I explain in the book, however, what this entails. I provide a budget, showing the actual expenses when we tried this for about 5 months. If you read it and decide you can't live with the restrictions, then $1000 a month isn't enough for you. Also, I forgot about a couple of things which may be significant for you, as explained on the More on RV Travel page. Finally, you can see the opinions and experience of website viewers summarized in my Retirement Survey Results.
Surfing around the web, you'll find a large number of "diaries" from people who are travelling in RVs and are living at anywhere from $1000 on up. Determining your own requirements probably involves reading some of these experiences and considering how their lifestyle compares to your intentions. Another factor is what loans you still have open. In my book, I assume you've already paid for your RV (and any other vehicles), have no house payments, and either have a good campground membership or intend to try free (or cheap) camping. Click on HitchItch below to read bunches of interesting and informative RV travel adventure logs.
Nothing in this site is copyrighted -- I'd be honored if you'd reuse anything you find here for your website
When I did a search (in Yahoo!) on "retire", I got 550,000 webpage hits. I obviously can't say that I perused them all, but I've spent many hours wandering through many of them. One thing I've found is that there are many people out there who have spent much more time than I on the question of how much it takes to retire. I've done spreadsheets that assume a reasonable rate of return on your IRA and a specific monthly allowance, but some of the sites I found have complete programs dedicated to the questions. Take a look at some of the following and pick the one you like best -- they each have their own ideas on how to "size your stake". Click a Picture!
Finally, I bumped into two great websites for Canadian and a couple for UK retirement -- here they are.
2003 Update : I've X'd out the links below that are no longer operational. If you happen to know if they've moved elsewhere, let me know. If these don't do it for you, suggest you do an internet search on "retire" and pick your own favorites.
2011 Update : Thanks to Sarah at ValleyBookClub.com for letting me know about my dead links. I've fixed them again. These websites come and go, unlike RetirementTips.com :) I also added the AFYI link at Sarah's suggestion. Many great resources listed there.
2012 Update : Thanks to Jenny Allen, a student doing a paper on about the problems of the elderly, for suggesting the reference to MortgageLoans.com ... bunches of free information there.
Also thanks to Katelyn and Ms. Deborah Ward's class in Delaware for the Debt.org reference.
2014 Update : Thanks to Linda FitzMaurice, a middle school teacher in Washington state for her suggestion on some great Senior Resources from the AAG.
Click the graphic below to go to Northwestern Mutual's Lifespan Calculator. Answer 13 questions and you'll know how long to plan your retirement.
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