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The STARTING POINT should be answering the question, "how much money do I need in retirement to live the lifestyle that I want to live?"

I think we all agree that is the basis of retirement planning. But getting it right is not so easy. Young people often use current income adjusted for the cost of future wants.

Fifty year olds with children out of school, married, on their own, etc, can use their actual living costs as a guide--adjusted for anticipated changes in retirement.

But then comes the problem of inflation. That part is tricky.

Young people are best off to shoot for something like 25 yrs gross income, and then develop a regular savings/investing plan to get there.

Then the subject should be revisited from time to time to see how you are doing and update the numbers. The key is adapt, adjust, fine tune.

Your retirement plan is a guide that keeps getting revised at least until the day you retire. It is not cast in concrete.
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