Here’s the magic number to retire at 65.
For some people, retirement can seem like an impossibility. Even retiring by the standard retirement age of 65 can seem out of reach.
While we all have different ideas of what retirement can or should be—from moving into an old missile silo to long days spent playing Bird Bingo with the grandkids—everyone eventually hopes to punch the clock one last time and enjoy life without work.
But getting there takes resources. Specifically, you’ll need retirement savings.
So, how much do you need to retire by age 65?
Some organizations including AARP recommend saving between $1.2 and $1.5 million to support a 30-year retirement, and if you are hoping for a magic formula or number, there isn’t one. And that’s because everyone has different retirement goals.
Here however are some ways to predict how much money you will need to retire by age 65.
Where do you want to retire?
In addition to health care costs, perhaps the biggest factor in figuring out how much you’ll need to retire is where you hope to live. Do you plan on downsizing, and moving into a smaller house? Selling your home for a smaller, cheaper one may provide some additional extra money for your retirement savings.
Or, if you’re thinking of moving to another country, consider the costs: A villa in Europe will cost much more than a small house in Indiana or Ohio.
Even if you don’t plan on moving, you’ll need to consider the costs of maintenance, property taxes, and home improvements that may arise with time.
Think about where and how you want to live to get an idea of how your cost of living might change. Also, if you plan on moving away from friends and family, you could end up spending more on frequent trips to visit—just one more thing to consider.
How do you want to retire?
Another important question to ask yourself: “What do I want to do when I retire?”
For example, if you hope to retire at 65 and spend your retirement golfing at the local country club, you’ll need far less than the person who retires at 50 and travels the world.
Read more: How to calculate opportunity costs.
Think ahead, and consider the costs related to your future retirement plans.
How to calculate how much you need to retire by 65
Once you have an idea of what you want to do in retirement and where you want live, you’ll need to start looking at dollar figures.
There are many free tools that can help you calculate exactly what you need.
For example, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission offers a savings calculator that can help you calculate how much you’ll need to save in order to reach a specific goal. Savings calculators can help you see how much money you need to set aside each month in order to reach your financial goals and to retire by 65, or any other age.
Try playing with these calculators and inputting different numbers to see what’s possible. Even minor changes to your saving and spending habits can have large effects on the eventual outcome.
Why you should start saving now to retire by age 65
Compound interest can have a huge impact on long-term retirement savings, which is why it’s important to start saving early and often.
The earlier you start saving, the more time your money has to compound, and the more interest or returns you could potentially earn. Even if your current contributions are small, compounding can help them add up by the time you reach 65.
Keep in mind, the sooner you start, the better. Saving small amounts over longer periods of time is typically easier than scrambling to save several thousands of dollars per year in your 50s and 60s. Starting to save at a young age could give you a huge head start.
You can start saving for retirement now on Stash.