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Retirement Planning: 3 steps toward financial success

Thinking ahead to the money you’ll need in retirement? Bravo for taking this step toward long-term financial wellbeing.

With a little introspection – and some number crunching – you can determine if you are on track for the golden years of your dreams.

Here’s what to do:


Review your finances

Check the current balance of your retirement accounts, review what you’ll receive in any pensions and visit Social Security Administration’s website to determine your expected monthly benefits.

The percentage of retirees who said they or their spouse/partner received the following benefits:


receive Social Security


draw from an IRA or 401(k)


 have a defined benefit pension


have savings outside a retirement account

Source: Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, Report on the Economic Well-Being of U.S. Households in 2017.


Assess your retirement goals

Consider where you’ll live, the lifestyle you want and when you’d like to start collecting Social Security. Some things to take into account:


The estimated average monthly Social Security benefit for a retired worker1


Average U.S. household annual spending in households headed by someone 65 or older2


The rule of thumb for the amount you can sustainably deduct from your retirement savings annually


The potential extra percentage earned per year for each year you wait to claim Social Security benefits beyond your full retirement age


  1. Social Security Administration, Bureau of Labor Statistics 2019
  2. Social Security Administration, Bureau of Labor Statistics 2016

Do some calculations

While 2 in 3 workers feel confident about how much money they’ll need to live comfortably in retirement, just 4 in 10 have tried to calculate the actual amount they will need.

Check out one of the many retirement readiness calculators online, which can help you to eliminate guesswork.

Source: Employee Benefit Research Institute/Greenwald & Associates 2019 Retirement Confidence Survey.


Rejoice – then revamp if necessary

Congratulate yourself if you’re on track. And if you’re not, still give yourself props for taking the time to check. Then get to work making adjustments. An easy first step? The sooner you start, the better.

Close Disclaimer

The material provided on this website is for informational use only and is not intended for financial, tax or investment advice. Bank of America and/or its affiliates, and Khan Academy, assume no liability for any loss or damage resulting from one’s reliance on the material provided. Please also note that such material is not updated regularly and that some of the information may not therefore be current. Consult with your own financial professional and tax advisor when making decisions regarding your financial situation.

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