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Thursday, March 30, 2006 

Retirement: Is The "Number" Really That Important?

A few days back Make Love, Not Debt asked "Why The Rush To Retire?". Couple of bloggers responded with what exactly they mean by retirement, that what they want to do is not that financially rewarding and having financial freedom would be wonderful etc. One thing which I observed most of PF bloggers have a "number" in mind for retirement , sometime very precise such as a Jonathon over at MyMoneyBlog thinks $1,500,000 would be pretty good, Boston Gal Jane Dough went even higher $3,376,500, good luck to both of them and I'm pretty sure they will get there.

Every now and then I tried to come up with the "Number" for myself based on different retirement calculators it varies somewhere between $2,500,000 (simple life) and $4,000,000 ( well if I go with a little less simple life). But then I always ask what if I don't get to this "number",is is that important? Would it be that bad? In reallity the "number" is just another desire. May be I should list all my desires when I retire and see where this "Number" fits among those desires. Here is my list (in the order I desire them):
  1. Family: I think it would wonderful to be surrounded by a bunch of children, grandchildren, nephew, nieces every now and then.
  2. Good friends: I think friends are important at every stage of life but are really important when you have all the time in life. We can't not only share our past but still plan for the future.
  3. Good health: I very much want to enjoy those golden years healthy. I don't want to die in poor health few years after I retire.
  4. Self respect: I want to live feeling like I'm doing something worthwhile, returning something to society, not just waiting for that final day.
  5. May be the "Number": To have everything else that I desire :)

You make some good points. I'm aiming for $1 million, but who knows... I'll likely end up with more. A goal helps me plan and stay motivated.

Unfortunately, most people get depressed when they think about their number. Then, they don't do anything because they think they can't hit it anyway, so why even try. I say anything is better than nothing.

Personally, I would like anywhere from $3 million to $7 million. But, that's OUR (mine and my wife's) number.



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