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Planning for retirement

When can I retire?

When can I retire? It's a simple question, but knowing how much you need to retire can be tricky.
4 minute read

Start with this rule of thumb

As you're deciding when to retire, you'll need to think about how much money you're likely to spend each year.

Financial planners often tell people to plan to spend 75%–85% of their current income once they retire. It's an estimate based on the fact that, once you retire, you should be spending less on:

  • Payroll taxes.
  • Debt, assuming you paid much of it off before retiring.
  • Retirement savings.
  • Everyday expenses like gas and clothes for work.

However, this "rule" doesn't work for everyone. Don't forget to consider any additional expenses you might be expecting, like:

  • Expensive travel or other lifestyle purchases (for example, a boat or second home).
  • Higher-than-average health care expenses.
  • College tuition or other gifts to family members.

If you foresee any of these expenses in your future, you might need to increase your target to 100% or more of your current income.

Social Security (and potentially a pension) will give you some income, but the rest will need to come from your savings.


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We're here to help

Talk with one of our investment specialists

Monday through Friday
8 a.m. to 8 p.m., Eastern time


What do others do?

Our recent report showed that the average retirement plan account balance among those ages 45–54 was about $115,497.

Source: Vanguard, How America Saves 2019. This study examined employer retirement plans (and their participants) managed by Vanguard.

Get your personal estimate

Plug your figures into our calculator to see how close you are to your retirement goal and what changes you might need to make.

See when you'll have enough to retire

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The last few years before retirement are critical to reaching your goal. We can tell you wether you're doing the right things

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Get more from Vanguard. Call 1-800-962-5028 to speak with an investment professional.

Get more from Vanguard. Call 1-800-962-5028 to speak with an investment professional.

All investing is subject to risk, including the possible loss of the money you invest.

Advice services are provided by Vanguard Advisers, Inc., a registered investment advisor, or by Vanguard National Trust Company, a federally chartered, limited-purpose trust company.