Let's see where we are so far. Retirement is the goal. You're willing to face the challenge of finding the Savage Number. You tested yourself and realized you'll need some help getting there. You've bought into the principle that time is money. And you're worried about being able to retire.
So let's get specific about the 10 key questions you'll face in retirement planning. Ask yourself:
How long will I live?
What will inflation do to the value of my savings?
How can I save enough?
How should I invest the money I've saved for retirement?
How much will I spend to live in retirement?
How much can I withdraw each month without running out of money?
What's the biggest danger to my retirement plans?
How can I earn money during retirement?
How can I retain control of my financial life?
What if I have money left over when I die?
Let's take the questions one by one. But keep in mind that while it's easier to explain things in terms of averages, very few things in real life are actually average. It's not averages you need to deal with in retirement planning, but probabilities. They're much more likely to get you to your retirement goal. So the average numbers in this chapterare just designed to give perspective. Dealing with specific probabilities for your retirement plan comes in the next section.
This is truly the one unanswerable question. The life expectancy for the overall U.S. population was a record 76.9 years in 2000. But for today's healthy ...