Many of you have probably filled out one of the "retirement planner" forms available online. Plenty of tax and accounting programs also have "Lifetime Planner" sections for folks to determine if they can afford to retire.
These sorts of programs plug certain assumptions into a formula, such as projected inflation rate, retirement income, anticipated spending levels, and portfolio growth rate. After you add your personal information, it projects how much money you'll be able to produce annually during retirement, and how long it will last.
The first time I ran these numbers, the program said I was good until 116 years of age. At the time, I believed that if we followed the plan as outlined, my wife and I would never have any real money worries. We'd be set for the rest of our lives and could proudly leave some to our children to help with their retirement. How naïve of me! [Read more...]