Four Reasons Why You Need to Know Your Retirement Number

Chris HoganBy: Chris Hogan, Financial Expert for Ramsey

People love to throw around numbers when they talk about retirement. How many times have you heard that 52 percent of Americans have only $10,000 saved for retirement? Or that 33 percent of workers are putting off retirement until after age 65, and 10 percent don’t plan to retire at all?
While those numbers give us a good idea of the scope of our nation’s retirement problem, they’re not going to help anyone actually change their retirement outlook. The only number that can accomplish that is your number — your own, personal retirement savings goal that will allow you to live out your dream retirement.
There are a few reasons why I think that number is so important. First, to even begin calculating your retirement number, you have to decide what kind of life you want to live in retirement. Do you want to travel? Start a business? Help your grandkids with college? There’s no wrong answer, but you do need to think about how much money your dream retirement will take and then boil that down to a monthly income amount.
Second, by having this discussion and agreeing on what your dream retirement looks like, you and your spouse now become a team. You’re working together, sacrificing together if necessary, so you can reach a goal both of you have decided is worth the effort. There’s nothing sadder than a couple who’s facing retirement with no money and no dream, simply because they never sat down to talk about their future!
Third, by focusing on your retirement number, you stop thinking about retirement as an age. Retirement doesn’t begin at some magical age like 65 or 70. It begins when you have enough money to enjoy the life you’re dreaming about — whether that’s at age 50, 73 or 82.
Fourth, your retirement number gives you a solid starting place for your retirement plan. Millions of people don’t save for their future because they think they’ll have to give up too much today. They don’t make a plan. And as the numbers show, they’re going to be in trouble.
But numbers change when people do. When you have a real plan and work that plan with real effort, you’ll get real results.
You can find out what your retirement number is with my Retire Inspired Quotient (R:IQ) Assessment. It will show you, once and for all, what your number isand how much you’ll need to invest each month to reach your number. You can get a free R:IQ Assessment at