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I don't know that these formulas telling you what percentage of your working income you'll need in retirement are particularly useful.

What you need to know is what your expenses will be.

Some expenses will decrease:
--work-related things such as clothes, transportation and lunches out
--no more SS and Medicare taxes to pay
--no more saving for retirement

Other expenses may increase:
--leisure activities and travel
--health care, especially if you'll be paying your own insurance premiums

I kept track of our spending for several years before retiring so I knew pretty closely what we needed to maintain the standard of living we wanted. I included a generous estimate for health care costs for the time when we would no longer have company coverage. I retired first and when DW joined me, I knew that an annual withdrawl of 4% of our portfolio would cover our estimated expenses.

As far as what income you need, that all depends on how you want to live. If you are looking at some bare minimum, I can't help because I haven't looked at that possibility.

The savings rate in the U.S., which has always been low, went negative in 2005.

The official savings rate is not a useful figure. It only takes into account how much people stash away from their paychecks. It doesn't count growth in investment accounts like 401ks and IRAs or private brokerage accounts nor home appreciation. If you made, for example, $250,000 in the stock market over the past four years but spent all of your paychecks, you have zero savings by that accounting. In recent years many people have saved less because their portfolios and homes have increased their wealth enough to satisfy them.

--fleg
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