How Much Do You Need to Retire?

How Much Do You Need to Retire?

May 01, 2024

I don’t know about you, but every time I see headlines that say, “Top 10 Reasons” or “How Much Do You Need,” I'm curious.

So when I saw the CNBC article, “You’ll need at least $1 million to retire comfortably in these 10 U.S. States,” I decided to read the content.1

The list of places with the highest cost of living in the United States wasn't shocking. California, New York, and Hawaii held three of the top four spots. What is usually is lacking in these articles are the details. For example, did the survey consider Social Security? Did it look at all assets, such as your home, or only investable assets? How long was “retirement” for the calculation? Unfortunately, not too many details were provided.

As it turned out, the article was based on the 2024 Planning and Progress study by Northwestern Mutual. The study found that U.S. adults believe they will need $1.46 million (see table) to retire comfortably, which was a 15% increase from 2023.2

What’s more stunning is that the “magic number” has jumped 53% from the $951,000 in 2020.

It’s interesting information but not helpful when creating a retirement strategy for your own personal financial needs. When you see this type of content, understand they are not "rules of thumb", and that your numbers should be obtained after completing your financial plan.

1. CNBC.com, April 2, 2024. “You need at least $1 million to retire comfortably in these 10 U.S. states–half are in the Northeast.”
2. NorthwesternMutual.com, 2024. “Planning & Progress Study 2024.”