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My IRA needs to fall somewhere between $0 and $600,000 for retirement at age 60,

Remember that retirement savings can also be in other kinds of accounts. You don't need to have the government's approval to save money for retirement. We like to put capital-gains investments in our taxable accounts.

So, how difficult is it for you to project your retirement expenses? For those of you who are within 1-2 years of retirement, how confident are you with your projections? For those of you who’ve retired in the last few years, did you over-estimate or under-estimate your expenses?

VickiSpouse retired 18 months ago. I entered several years of expenses in Quicken and used the totals to "budget." I thought the big variables would discretionary expenses like vacations. Taxes, health insurance, and college turned out to be the hard things to budget for.

Two of the color kids (Blue, Purple, and Red) are college age this year. Private colleges are price-fixing now, with all of them charging $48K/year.

Taxes are hard to predict because we are still diversifying and getting our investments allocated properly. (VickiSpouse was too busy to deal with this while working and it's taken a while to get him up to speed. It's a major joint decision, so we have to do it together.)

I'm in the process of entering the last year's spending into Quicken to see how we did. Remind me in a month and I'll let you know.

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