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The Million Dollar Question

By LouAnn Schulfer,  AWMA®, AIF®
Accredited Wealth Management Advisor®
Accredited Investment Fiduciary

Every now and again I get asked “How much does a person need to retire?”  It’s the million dollar question, because it seems like that is usually the answer the asker is expecting:  a million dollars.  For some, that has become retirement dogma.  The real answer is:  it depends.  For some, it’s a million.  For others, it’s less than that and still for others, it’s more than a million dollars to be dedicated toward your golden years.  A better question is “How much do I need to retire?”

Retirement planning is like a giant equation.  There are many inputs that work in conjunction with one another that help us to calculate the number to the right of the equal sign, which is the amount you should have to retire.  What makes it different for each person?  We have varied needs for anticipated future spending, as well as longevity expectations, health expenses, risk tolerance for our investments, whether your investments will be taxed upon distributions, social security and pensions, to name some of the most common matters.

With thoughtful consideration, retirement projections can be run to give you an idea of how much money you may need to retire.  With detail, what will your golden years look like?  That’s the million dollar question.

LouAnn Schulfer is co-owner of Schulfer & Associates, LLC Wealth Management and can be reached at (715) 343-9600 or

Securities and advisory services offered through LPL Financial, a Registered Investment Advisor.  Member FINRA/SIPC.