Consider tracking expenses with spreadsheet
Consider tracking expenses with spreadsheet

Arvon Glaser
Overland Park, Kan.
Family: Divorced, two children
Age: 64
Job before retirement: Manager at DuPont

In order to see if the 70%-to-80% rule applies, I put together a spreadsheet with all of my preretirement monthly expenses vs. income and then did a second one with my expected retirement monthly expenses vs. expected income (pension, Social Security, investments) and compared the two. My spreadsheet indicated that I could make it on 80% of my preretirement income.

I spent a lot of time planning for my retirement, looking closely at my expected expenses and income. I had a financial adviser run the numbers for me to see if my own planning system was on the mark, and I was glad to see it was.

In retirement, I found I was spending less on business items like clothes, parking, tolls, etc., and spending more on eating out, travel and paying a larger percentage of my medical and dental insurance than before.

I diligently update my retirement spreadsheet to see where I am vs. where I thought I would be. So far, no big surprises.

There are several major things a person needs to take into account when planning to retire, including what type of mortgage they have, if they will be receiving a pension or Social Security, and if they will still work part time.

Err on the side of being too conservative and on the frugal side.

If a person makes a bad mistake when they retire, there's little chance you can go back and "earn" your way out of trouble.

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