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The Whole Picture

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

Sometimes we are asked “How much money does one need to retire?”  Our answer:  it depends.  Everyone’s financial picture and retirement goals are different and can vary a great deal.

With integrated software, we can model just about any scenario for retirement.  We can project, run hundreds of trials and analysis, stress test portfolios and try various “what if’s”.  The surprises come on both ends of the spectrum.  Sometimes, an individual or couple may have a good deal of retirement savings and assets, even well into the seven figures, and running probability of success simulations show money running out prematurely.  This usually happens due to higher spending, debt, and/or early age of retirement.

On the other end of the spectrum, there are times where we see lower retirement account balances and a high probability of success.  You guessed it…  this usually happens due to lower spending, no debt and working longer. Guaranteed pension income significantly helps, although the majority of people today do not retire with a pension.  Limiting financial risk also improves the probability of success.  Unexpected large bills such as those that may arise from some types of property ownership, health or long term care expenses are common concerns.  Investment loss is often the first anxiety that comes to mind for many, however, with numerous options available today, that fear can be directly addressed.

So then, how much does one need to retire?  It depends.  There is a lot to consider in the whole picture.

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.