How Much Do You Need To Save To Retire Comfortably | 727

MORI 727 | Retiring Comfortably


Many financial experts say you should save up to 20% of your income. But is that enough? Right now, EVERY generation, from Baby Boomers to Zoomers, are behind on their savings goals. Why?

In this episode, Chris Miles shares why everyone is behind on their savings goals and what you can do about it.

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How Much Do You Need To Save To Retire Comfortably

Welcome to our show that’s for you, those that work so hard for money and are now ready for your money to start working harder for you right now. You want that freedom and cashflow now, not 30 or 40 years from now as we will talk about, but you want it right now, so you can live that life that you love with those that you love while they still love you. It’s not just about getting rich, it’s not about just doing that, but it’s about living a rich life because as you are blessed financially, you have a greater capacity to bless the lives of others.

Thank you for tuning in. Big shout-out to those of you that have gone and you have subscribed. Thank you so much for subscribing to our YouTube channel on Money Ripples or Money Ripples Podcast. Thank you again to those that have left reviews on iTunes. I appreciate that because, honestly, we can’t create this ripple effect without the help of you. Thank you for binging and sharing this with others. As a reminder, if you haven’t done so already, check out our calculator at to see how much passive income you could create in the next months. This is taking my brain put into a calculator. You should check that out.

How Much Should You Be Putting Away?

I want to talk about the big question here is, “What does it require you to be able to retire comfortably? How much should you be saving? How much should you be putting away?” I’m going to share this article from a study by Northwestern Mutual that surveyed people across many generations. Do you know what’s interesting? You found that these different generations have different expectations as well as different concerns. You want to check out this last part. I’m going to show you how much it takes to retire based on how they say you should be saving up. It’s going to be revealing because what you will find out is whether are prepared or not.

What does it require for you to be able to retire comfortably? How much should you be saving? How much should you be putting away? Click To Tweet

How Much Americans Think They’ll Need For A Comfortable Retirement

This article is titled This is how much Americans think they need for a comfortable retirement. Very fascinating, just so you know. The difference between what they think they need versus what they have are big differences. For example, on average Americans, we expect to save $1.27 million for a comfortable retirement, according to the study that Northwestern Mutual did. The trouble is the average amount of retirement is $89,300 or just 7% of that target amount.

This is for a study with eighteen-year-olds up. There are 2,700 people in this study here. We got Baby Boomers, Gen Xers like myself, Millennials, and Generation Z or Zoomers in here too. There’s a big difference between these generations. We will talk about this right now. For example, expectations versus reality. They vary by age. Folks in their 50s spin the dollar higher, then they will expect they will need $1.56 million saved for retirement while reporting only having $110,000 set aside. People in their 30s think they will need $1.4 million while they have $57,000 set aside. Those in their 40s expect $1.28 million with $77,000. I think that’s interesting that those in their 30s think they will need more than Gen Xers, which is true. You do need more because of inflation. I think that Gen Xers are drastically underestimating.

What’s even more shocking is even worse when you go to those that are in their twenties, the Gen Z. Essentially, because those that are in Gen Z only expect $1.2 million even though they have saved up $35,000. They expect they have to save less despite inflation. I don’t know if they expect deflation, but the oldest Gen Z is about 24 years old. You got to cut them a little slack. They haven’t been in the marketplace for that long. They don’t know what to expect. That’s exactly why we are doing this show right now.

Expectations Versus Reality

Why we are talking about this because the truth is almost nobody knows what to expect when it comes to traditional planning because the number one concern is that nearly half of Americans, 48% estimate they won’t have enough saved to retire comfortably when the time comes. On average, Americans say they are a 45% chance that they will outlive their savings, which I would say the number is much higher.

Nearly 48% estimate they won't have saved nearly enough to retire comfortably when the time comes. Click To Tweet

It says Gen X is most concerned more than half of us, 55%. Maybe that’s just our generation that we have to do everything on our own. We don’t even half the time expect Social Security, although it does say here that there is Social Security involved. Pretty much, the older you are, the more you expect Social Security to help out percentage-wise.

Here’s what’s crazy. About 2/3 of Generation Z, 65% are those that are 25 or younger. They will be good to go when they step out of the workplace. From this one guy says “That’s some swagger, but they have a long runway.” They have just started to be in the workforce and most of them have not felt, to be honest, a true economic downturn. I would not just say that about Generation Z. This is also true of Millennials. Those in their 30s haven’t seen much of an economic downturn for the last several years. You haven’t seen much. If you look at it from the standpoint, unless you are at least late-30s on up, you haven’t seen anything affect your money.

Not Saving Enough

If you are in your mid-30s or even early-30s and you started saving your retirement plan, you probably think you are a rockstar right now because the market did way above average than what it normally does. We came from a market bottom after the financial crisis and then this came skyrocketing up where the average return for a 12-year period was about 14% at that time. The interesting thing about the expected retirement age is, Boomers expect to retire at 71. Gen Zs at age 60 while Millennials and Gen Xers are right about their mid-60s. Here’s the big thing I want to point out here. It’s interesting because it says still a third of those surveyed by Northwestern Mutual haven’t done anything at all when it comes to retirement planning.

It even says that 20% have sought advice from financial advisors and 28% are trying to add more savings. They are trying to do something but haven’t done anything at all. I find it fascinating because you have people out there like Dave Ramsey and people will say the minority of people are savers. Almost everybody is a spender. They are just wasting their life away. I was even interviewed by somebody who said something very similar saying that most people don’t save or they are just not saving enough. It’s true they are not saving enough for the strategy. The strategy they are using which are mutual funds because the truth is you will find this out, you can’t save enough.

It will be hard to even live a modest lifestyle. Not even a comfortable lifestyle. A modest lifestyle of retirement, putting your money in 401(k)s and IRAs. You will see why based on even the calculators that financial advisors would use if they used them appropriately. It’s interesting because only a third of them aren’t saving. This means the majority of people are savers. They just may not be saving enough. That’s true, although I would say this, and this is the big thing, it’s not your fault you are not saving enough. If you are not saving anything and you know you could be, yes, that’s your fault. That’s your responsibility.

My point is that those of you that are saving, you are sacrificing, working hard, and doing what you have been told to do this whole time and yet you are starting to wonder, “Is that enough?” The truth is, even by the survey, you will find out most people it isn’t enough. I’m going to go move to this next article and tie it in with this. I think that the title article is funny which is Gen Z is expecting a 40-year retirement. Good luck, experts say. We talk about this. Now focusing on Gen Z, going to them. It’s interesting because they think they will retire at 60 on average, but 2 in 5 think they will live to 100. That means they got to have a 40-year retirement with just saving $1.2 million, as we said, as their nest egg factoring in inflation.

I don’t mean $1.2 million after you factor inflation, I mean $1.2 million while inflation is kicking your butt for the next 40 years. What do you think $1.2 million is going to be worth in 40 years? This is something that’s not taught. I’m not blaming schools necessarily, although it’d be nice if they taught this stuff. I know schools that teach “basic financial literacy,” yet it’s pretty much Financial Peace University by Dave Ramsey is what they are teaching. They are not teaching stuff about how to factor in inflation. They are not teaching where else you can invest besides throwing it in gambling in the stock market, which has produced lackluster and mediocre returns with high risks.

Again, the 30-year average, the actual return being about 7.7% of the S&P 500 is not even diversified in the first place. We are dealing with these issues that people have. Most mutual funds don’t even earn as high as the S&P 500 returns. We got all this headwind happening here. It says that Gen Z is not counting on Social Security to make their retirement dreams happen, which is true. They only count about 15%. Baby Boomers expect 40% of theirs to come from there. Why? Baby Boomers have lived long enough. They know from expectations they are going to need Social Security. They know it’s not going to be enough. They need that.

MORI 727 | Retiring Comfortably
Retiring Comfortably: Gen Z is not counting on social security to make their retirement dreams happen, while Baby Boomers expect 40% of theirs to come from there.


I’m going to go back, and we have already talked about what Baby Boomers expect and everything else. I’m going to go to this guy. We got a quote from him at some point. I don’t know who he is, but he did achieve financial independence or job-optional status. That sounds familiar. He did that in his twenties. That sounds like me. He said, “Living on $1.2 million over the course of 4 decades was unrealistic. For instance, such a figure seems to not account for costs like medical expenses, which inevitably increased with age. It seems wildly miscalculated. There’s no way that’s enough.”

He said, “You are at an older age, you are probably going to have more expensive medical expenses alone because your body breaks down a little bit. You may need some extra care at some point. Instead, an analysis found that half of the 35 million people with traditional Medicare spent at least 16% of their income on out-of-pocket healthcare costs or annually they spend about $6,600.”

This is true. I have seen this happen many times that people aren’t accounting for this. I remember my HR rep when I worked this traditional job that had a 401(k), and I was saving the 401(k). I remember her saying, “When you get older, you don’t need as much money because your kids moved out, and you will pay off your house and you will just live cheap.”

You ask anybody in their 50s and 60s, their plan is not to try to live cheap. Remember this is supposed to be a comfortable retirement. Interestingly, this person at Princeton Financial Group, Linda Farinola, talks about someone who wants to live on $4,000 a month after taxes for 40 years, taking into account 3% inflation. That’s after taxes. You’ve got to understand that you’ve got to hit a higher number if you are saving 401(k)s and IRAs. I’m going to go off of this. She’s talking about accounting for 3% inflation with a return invested funds at 6%. She says they will need somewhere closer to $4 million.

It’s Simple Math

She’s like, “I don’t think they fully appreciate the cost of life and the effect of inflation over the 40 years. Just show them the math. It’s simple math.” Good old Princeton Financial Group Linda Farinola, let’s show the math. I found a calculator here. This is at This is a retirement calculator. You will see how much you need to retire. I put in someone who’s 20 years old, let’s just say they are 20 saving for 40 years to age 60, just like Generation Z wants to. Life expectancy for 100 years. Interestingly, 40% think they will live to 100. That’s very possible.

MORI 727 | Retiring Comfortably
Retiring Comfortably: Gen Z wants a life expectancy of 100 years. It’s interesting that 40% think they’ll live to be 100.


I’m going to put the pretax income at $60,000 a year. Why? We got to start with something. If you put this at $30,000 or $40,000 a year as a 20-year-old, which could very well be possible, you might not even be making that much. It’s hard to do these numbers. I’m going to start at $60,000 a year, so a high number with a 4% increase in income per year to help with the savings.

What’s the income you need at retirement? I put 80% at $60,000 is $48,000 or $4,000 a month just like that that Linda woman had mentioned, that financial planner. The average investment return is 6%, now I’m going to put the inflation rate at 3%. I know and you know it’s much higher. Three percent is a crappy number to use, but I’m going to go with it. I think 6% average returns are pretty reasonable considering most mutual funds don’t even do the 7.7% average. Six percent is underpromising for sure.

I calculate this and what do you get? It says, “Here’s what you will need.” It says here, “You need about $3.67 million to retire.” It’s close to $4 million, so $1.85 million. You are about halfway there. If you wanted to see how much you had to save to get there, here’s what it says. It says you can either save $3.67 million, you can either save $1,815 a month or $22,000 per year, or save 21% of your income. That doesn’t sound too bad.

What happens if inflation is just a little bit higher? What if I put it at 5%? We know if you check places like, it’s a lot higher. It’s more than double. It’s probably closer to the 7% average. I’m going to go in the middle between these 2 and go at 5% just because I know I won’t feel guilty for putting that number. It’s probably still underpromising.

Watch what happens to the 2% difference. $1.85 million compared to the $11 million that you need because of that inflation. That 2% made a big difference in 40 years, didn’t it? It went from $3.67 million all the way up to $11.15 million. That’s three times. It tripled because of that extra 2%. Why? Rule 72, that’s why. Compounding interest.

Notice it’s $1.85 million, that’s just over a tenth. That looks like how people’s numbers are now, even the Baby Boomers. Where have they not even saved up enough? It looks pretty similar, doesn’t it? It does because that’s the reality in our lives. That’s why I put 5%. That’s why when I was a financial advisor, going even up to 3% was depressing enough. What do you have to save to hit this number? You got to save $11.15 million. You either have to save $70,000 per year or 66% of your income every year. Two-thirds of your income needed to be saved away. That’s not too far off the truth. Remember when they used to say save 10% and you will be fine, now they have bumped it up to 20%. Not so much.

Not when you start to factor in even a slight tweak of these numbers, just a little bit of a lie from the government to tell you that inflation is not as high as it is. It’s only 2%, but only 2% makes a drastic difference. Remember, they will blame you just like they are blaming everybody else saying you haven’t saved enough. Americans haven’t saved enough to retire comfortably.

Is that America’s fault, or is that the education? We are going off of bad math and bad assumptions because we think that the government is telling us the truth. Bad assumptions because we think the financial advisors are telling us the truth and bad math because we think that even the institutions are telling us the truth about how much you can be earning in the stock market when you don’t even return those returns. That’s the problem.

I can adjust this even more, but remember this is only $4,000 a month. Saving $70,000 a year is horrible and these numbers are a little bit more accurate. Most people and even this Linda woman with Princeton Financial Group, she was using this because she’s thinking you could live on 4% because if you are trying to save up money, say you are saving $20,000 a year and I will put at 3% right here for that and 6% return. If you do that, you are after inflation adjustment right here. Buying power is about $1 million at $20,000 a year. That’s okay, $1 million. If you live on 4%, that’s $40,000 a year, almost $4,000 a month, you got to be saving a little bit more.

If you put it at $25,000, there you go. If you are trying to do the whole 4% rule and you are living off that after inflation of 3%, 1/4 means you can live on $50,000 a year right there. Put about $4,000 a month. If you are pretty much saving $2,000 a month, it will probably be right about there. $24,000 or $2,000 a month, you should be able to live on $4,000 a month in retirement, especially if you are trying to do it forever.

Delaying Retirement

Remember, if you are trying to get last for 40 years and you want a longer retirement, you shouldn’t be pulling out 4%. It should be more like 3%. Four percent might work great if you are that Baby Boomer that’s trying to retire at 71, knowing that you are likely to die within ten years if you are looking at statistics.

Granted about half, especially of women, if you make it to age 65, about half of you will live to be age 90. If you are a woman, a little less than half for men. If you make it to age 65, you get a pretty good chance that from 71 you could probably live even 20 years. Four percent, again, I don’t like that number because that’s a very risky number. For those that are trying to live retirement longer, to retire early, even, 3% is your best bet in my opinion, maybe even 2% is better. If we did that, now you are down to instead, $3,000 a month after inflation. That’s at 3%.

I put this at 5% inflation. Now we are looking at just over $500,000. You live on 3% of that and now you are looking at about $16,500 a year. About $17,000 around up. $ 17,000-year lifestyle after, you have got $24,000 you have been putting away. You put in $24,000 a year to then live on $17,000 a year. Does that sound right to you? No.

Does it mean it’s not true? Of course not. It means it can be true and it very well could be, but the problem is that this could be a risk for you. That’s a big risk. Remember, that’s $17,000 a year. If you want to live on $170,000 a year, if you are going to try to save up in mutual funds and things like that, you got to save ten times that number to live off that much. That means you got to save $240,000 a year to live on just under $15,000 a month.

I know there’s a lot of you that when you come to us you want $10,000 a month, $15,000, or $20,000 a month. For those of you that are doctors or dentists, $20,000 or $30,000 a month, is usually the minimum that you want for a comfortable retirement. $4,000 a month in my opinion is not comfortable for most people unless you are completely alone. Whether you are alone single or you are just a couple and you live a very modest lifestyle, it is possible to live on $4,000 a month, but you are probably not going to be doing a ton in retirement unless you have a paid-off house. That’s possible but again, there are always expenses with home ownership. Most likely if you have that home ownership, there’s still going to be expenses to it just like almost paying rent.

You got to pay taxes, insurance, maintenance, and upkeep. That gets harder and harder as you get older. Just know that it’s not like you live expense-free in retirement that you just live on. One of these other people said in the article, “You are just living on food and utilities and you are good.” No. You need more than that.

The Answer?

That’s why usually most people will say at least $5,000 a month even for a goal for retirement. What’s the answer? It’s not working as we are already seeing these studies and Northwestern Mutual wants it to not be true. They want you to be able to make it. Now they might try to tell you, “It’s your fault. You just got to save more money.” Can you truly save enough to live a comfortable lifestyle? It’s not just 50% of people that think they will never be able to do that.

Even as I mentioned, people that have over $1 million in their savings that they have in their retirement account, still think it will be a miracle over a third. It will be a miracle they can retire. It’s much worse because we know it will be a miracle. If you don’t have $1 million, especially now, it will be a miracle trying to do it the traditional way.

MORI 727 | Retiring Comfortably
Retiring Comfortably: 35% of those who have saved up over a million dollars think it’ll take a miracle for them to retire.


Your best option is to find an alternate path. Ironically, it’s a path that has been proven to work better. The path I’m talking about here is the same path we have been talking about in the show over and over. Alternative investments, things that generate cashflow, passive income. It doesn’t mean that you are hands off completely in the sense that you just can turn off your brain and set it and forget it. You can’t do that.

Stop The Blame Game

That’s what financial advisors and financial institutions want you to do. They want you to set it and forget it. Why? They don’t want you stressing in the meantime realizing it hasn’t worked. They want you to find it out when it’s too little too late and then you stress out. Who you are going to blame? You are going to try to blame your financial advisor, too late. They already made all that money off of you for decades. You are going to blame the financial institution? No, because they provided the only option you thought you had. You are going to blame yourself and/or the financial advisor. That’s pretty much it. I’m just here to tell you, guys, the financial advisor can’t save you. It’s your job to save you.

If you want to be a steward of your life, a real steward of everything you have been given in your life, it requires you to take control, to take ownership of your own life, and to take control of your finances. No more blame game. You can’t blame yourself even for just putting too little away. That’s not useful at this point. You can’t blame the financial advisor because they are only just selling you products. They are salesmen in suits. I know I was one of them at one point years ago. You need to do something different. That’s why we look at real estate. That’s why we have people on this show saying, “I had $1 million that instead of $30,000 a year I’m living on in retirement, now I’m living on $130,000 a year in retirement.”

It's your job to save yourself. If you want to be a real steward of your life and everything you've been given, it requires you to take ownership of your own life and to take control of your finances. No more blame game. Click To Tweet

We got people who have come on and taken $100,000, even a few $100,000 to make an extra few $1,000 a month. That’s very possible. You could make a 10% return on your money potentially. I’m not saying it’s guaranteed, but there are many alternatives out there that are paying double-digit returns. Even if you only earn 10% on $200,000, that’s $20,000 a year.

You earn 10% on $500,000, you can make $50,000 a year. Think about it. All these things are telling you, you got to chase inflation. Inflation is fighting you every single day, but the people that wanted $4,000 a month, think of how much you had to save. Having to save $70,000 over the next 40 years or could you get to $500,000 pretty quickly and live on $50,000 a year that way.

In real estate especially, there are lots of other alternatives besides just the simple rental real estate you might think of. There are things like apartments, self-storage, oil and gas, land investing, and lending where you can lend money like the banks but you get paid a higher return than banks get paid. All these alternatives are out there that you could be doing to earn a certain return on your money. That return generates passive income without touching your principle, allowing you to grow your money each and every year, especially if you can reinvest some of that money to keep building it up. $500,000 generate $50,000 a year, much easier at $500,000 trying to save up $11 million, don’t you think?

It’s not about too good to be true. There still requires time and effort here. Even if you want $50,000 a year now, if you are at starting at zero, like you are Generation Z right now, starting at zero, you might have to save up quite a bit of money to get to that $500,000. You might have to save up for the next fifteen-plus years to get to the point where you finally can catch up with inflation and be able to have a decent lifestyle. Maybe not comfortable, but a decent one. Isn’t that better than having a 0% chance in 40 years? I’d rather take control of my destiny, my future. That’s why I’m doing what I have done. That’s what’s worked for me and it’s worked for many other people as well.

Not just for myself, not just for people we interview on the show, including our clients, which has helped them too, but it’s helped millions of people do the same thing that we have done. Are we the hundreds of millions of people to supplement 401(k)s? No, we are doing it differently. The truth is, I believe we do it better. Again, there are a lot of alternatives out there. As I said at the beginning of the show, you can go and try that passive income calculator. See what you can do in your situation right now. If you are just starting, instead of trying to stuff money into these 401(k) plans, IRAs, and mutual funds that haven’t been proven not to work and they have been proven not to work and I show it to you on this show all the time.

That’s why infinite and banking can be another alternative where you can get your money outside of those places, out of those prisons, and get in a place where it’s liquid, so that as you build up that cash and then you can start to invest and create passive income allowing you to get to the point to be financially free faster. That is what I want for each of you because you can get your returns enhanced by using that strategy to allow you to be able to invest and create more passive income more quickly and give yourself more time to be able to invest. That’s my challenge to you. Check out our calculator if you haven’t done so already. Make it a wonderful process week. We will see you later.


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