Then again, I am in a totally different place than couples but planning well for retirement only made everything else a bit easy.I can't remember where the post is but even with good planning there would have been a surprise along the way on taxation of disability benefits so I was glad I wasn't planning down to the minimum penny. That brings up another good point. As I am running the various simulations these days and have started to consider SS as part of the income stream, I've started playing with early mortality rates for both DH and me as that does have an impact on the planning as well.As you know all too well, things change when the first spouse passes, and depending on which spouse goes first, there are differences in the SS income that also affect how much savings needs to be there.Also, I find planning for the minimum amount to be too risky for me. I have 2 scenarios that I look at for our retirement planning. The first is if we just stay in this house, and the 2nd is if we downsize, and there is a significant difference in the required income stream and associated savings, but both models include a fairly nice life style.Worst case, we could eliminate some of our planned discretionary spending, but planning for the higher number should leave some room for error as well.