There is a question mark on that because the discussion is so often presented as "must save 1million dollars!
It's as if f Dr. Evil were in charge of retirement planning...
There is no way in heaven or hell, or even in places that actually exist, that I will have 1 million dollars for retirement. Not happening.
So, can I retire?
What about Social Security? I hear that it might go bankrupt any minute. But will it? Just because less will be coming in, fewer workers per retiree etc, doesn't mean it immediately heads to zero or that we can't start taxing the wages above whatever the current top limit is for SS tax (seriously, there is a top limit...I'll never hit it). But, what if it DOES still pay out at something near the current rate.
Here is a spot to find out approximately what you'll get:
You can see it in today's dollars or future dollars. It did NOT say "zero." I will get something.
I have a retirement plan at work, 401k type. I contribute to get the maximum match from my employer.
I could contribute more but I'm going a different route.
I'm cutting expenses.
IF I can get expenses down below my estimated social security payment, then my work retirement account will be there to cover slack and unexpected expenses.
First, I do not currently have any debt and I take drastic lifestyle measures (to some, they don't seem drastic to me) to avoid debt. E.g., I live in a shed and a camper. I paid cash on the barrel head for my current car. For my land. I have a small solar system for which I paid cash. Same with the well. My only recurring monthly out of pocket expenses at the moment are my cell phone and a storage unit with the stuff I hope to put in the future cabin I hope to build without debt. Annually I pay car insurance and a healthcare/fitness program that I choose to fund and find worth the expense at this time. The healthcare/fitness could be dropped if I lose some income. As could the cell phone. There is no TV expense, no internet, no utility bill of any kind (no utilities...like I said, some might find that drastic).
And of course, taxes on the land which I am working to keep to the minimum, like everyone else.
I do spend on travel, gifts, and other things. Those expenses can be minimized or eliminated if need be.
Food...I'm going to need that. I'm always trying to find ways to be cost effective with food. Eating crap processed foods...which I do...is not the best. While it can seem cheaper up front, one is not healthy on that. And, turns out it's not cheap. So, I try to eat as much whole food, cooked from scratch, as possible. I'm also working on growing more food. I have space, but not much decent soil so it takes time to get that going. I do have 2 apple trees, some berries, and a small garden. I have access to a cheap fishing license and stocked trout ponds which I could take better advantage of.
In the coming months, I'm going to focus back on eating whole foods, more fruits and veg and working to get my "added sugars" down to the recommended levels (6 teaspoons a day...which is 24 or 25 grams). Since it's hard to tell how much of the "sugar" on a food label is added, the easiest way is going to be by not eating food that comes with nutrition labels! Hello produce aisle, farmers market, and maybe a CSA. And of course, gardens, sprouting jars, and the like.
I doubt I can totally eliminate packaged or restaurant food (much added sugar there too) or that I want to, but as I eat up what I have and even throw out some of the worst, I'll focus on replacing it with actual produce and meat.