One rule of thumb is that you'll need 70% of your pre-retirement yearly salary to live comfortably. That might be enough if you've paid off your mortgage and are in excellent health when you kiss the office good-bye. But if you plan to build your dream house, trot around the globe, or get that Ph.
Funding Your Retirement First
Unfortunately, while it's better to pay a mortgage off, or down, earlier, it's also better to start saving for retirement earlier. Thanks to the joys of compound interest, a dollar you invest today has more value than a dollar you invest five or 10 years from now.
Spending Your Net Worth in Retirement
“If you retire with a net worth of $1 million, have zero debt and only require $60,000 a year to live, you could be more financially secure than the person with three times your net worth,” Pellegrino says. “It's not just how much you have, it's how much you spend.”
While mortgage rates are currently low, they're still higher than interest rates on most types of bonds—including municipal bonds. In this situation, you'd be better off paying down the mortgage. You prioritize peace of mind: Paying off a mortgage can create one less worry and increase flexibility in retirement.
The rule of 70 is a calculation to determine how many years it'll take for your money or an investment to double given a specified rate of return. Investors can use this metric to evaluate various investments including mutual fund returns and the growth rate for a retirement portfolio.
But, generally speaking, most experts agree that you will need 70-80% of your pre-retirement income to maintain your standard of living in retirement. This means that if you earned $50,000 per year ($4,167 a month) before retiring, you would need approximately $35,000-$40,000 per year in retirement.
The remaining respondents calculated that they need less than $500,000. But how many people have $1,000,000 in savings for retirement? Well, according to a report by United Income, one out of six retirees have $1 million.
Dave Ramsey is certainly one of America's leading voices on finance. Ramsey is averse to debt of any kind and believes you should pay off your mortgage as fast as you can. In fact, he recommends that people only take out a 15-year mortgage that is no more than ¼ of their take-home pay.
Saving for Retirement
The Fidelity savings guidelines say a 40-year old should have a nest egg twice her annual income; by age 50, the egg should be four times income and at age 60, retirement savings should be six times current income.
While you should steer clear of high-interest credit card debt, it's OK to use debt intentionally, including taking on a mortgage, using loans to pay for school or financing a car to get you to and from work. As for the ideal age to debt-free, don't get too caught up in the comparison game, says Sanborn Lawrence.
Paying off your mortgage early is a good way to free up monthly cashflow and pay less in interest. But you'll lose your mortgage interest tax deduction, and you'd probably earn more by investing instead. Before making your decision, consider how you would use the extra money each month.
Paying off your mortgage may not be in your best interest if: You have to withdraw money from tax-advantaged retirement plans such as your 403(b), 401(k) or IRA. This withdrawal would be considered a distribution by the IRS and could push you into a higher tax bracket.
The survey, "Retirement and Mortgages," by national mortgage banker American Financing, found 44 percent of Americans between the ages of 60 and 70 have a mortgage when they retire, and as many as 17 percent of those surveyed say they may never pay it off.
Average Retirement Expenses by Category. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, an American household headed by someone aged 65 and older spent an average of $48,791 per year, or $4,065.95 per month, between 2016 and 2020.
The average retirement income for married couples over 65 was $101,500 in 2020. Since high incomes tend to pull up the average, the median retirement income may be a better benchmark. The median income for married couples over 65 was about $72,800 in 2020.
Paying it off typically requires a cash outlay equal to the amount of the principal. If the principal is sizeable, this payment could potentially jeopardize a middle-income family's ability to save for retirement, invest for college, maintain an emergency fund, and take care of other financial needs.
Once your mortgage is paid off, you'll receive a number of documents from your lender that show your loan has been paid in full and that the bank no longer has a lien on your house. These papers are often called a mortgage release or mortgage satisfaction.
Most Americans could retire with $1 million in savings. That nest egg would last most people around 20 years, which means that people who retire at 65 could live on $1 million until they're about 85. But of course, you're not the average American—you're you!
Indeed, a record 6.71% (or 8,386,508 out of 125,018,808 total U.S. households) can now claim millionaire status. That's up from 6.21% in 2018 and just 5.81% in 2017.
The historical S&P average annualized returns have been 9.2%. So investing $1,000,000 in the stock market will get you $96,352 in interest in a year. This is enough to live on for most people.
So yes, to collect just over $4,000 per month, you need well over a million dollars in retirement accounts. To be safe, we'll round that up to $1.5 million for the rest of the steps.
The average net worth for a 60-year-old in America is about $200,000 in 2022. However, for the above-average 60 year old who is very focused on his or her finances has an average net worth closer to $2,000,000.
Here's how to tell if you're ready to retire: You are financially prepared. You have eliminated debt. You have a plan to cope with emergencies.