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Navigating Your Retirement - Health and Finances

Planning for your Life, your Livelihood, your Legacy

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January 7, 2024 •  NW Estate Law, LLC
In an era where living to 100 is becoming increasingly likely, financial planning for retirement takes on a new level of complexity. The Yahoo Finance article, “Retirement Planning: Here’s How Much You’ll Need To Save If You Live to 100”, offers a comprehensive look at this challenge, highlighting the need for a radical shift in our approach to life and financial planning. Understanding the Longevity Revolution The “longevity revolution” concept discussed by Laura L. Carstensen, director of the Center for Longevity, suggests a significant societal shift. This revolution impacts various aspects of life, including health care, personal finance and retirement…

Working with people of all ages and in various degrees of health, I have become interested in healthy aging.  I have always thought of estate planning as not only what a person can do as part of their legacy but also (and maybe primarily) planning for the potential of incapacity.   The older we get, the more likely we are to get older and financial planning for retirement takes on a new level of complexity. The Yahoo Finance article, "Retirement Planning: Here’s How Much You’ll Need To Save If You Live to 100", offers a comprehensive look at this challenge, highlighting the need for a radical shift in our approach to life and financial planning.

Retirement Finances Retirement planning for health and financial health starts today. How much do you need? How can you age healthy? This article helps with a roadmap for retirement.  

Aging Well

In the book, Outlive: The Science and Art of Longevity, the authors outline the major four causes of death and possible ways to avoid these causes of death.  Most of these require intervention or action on our part at an earlier age which perhaps may people are doing.  As we age, we need to consider the cost of healthcare, long-term care, and enjoying our post-retirement years.

The 80% Rule for Retirement Savings

When you google "how much do I need to save for retirement" or even better, worked with a financial planner, you are likely to hear the commonly accepted rule of eighty percent (80%) - That you will need about 80% of your income to maintain your comfortable lifestyle after you retirement.  To get this amount, you will need to save a large sum before retirement age.

Detailed Breakdown of Retirement Costs

Food Costs

Over a 35-year retirement period, food costs can accumulate significantly. Based on Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data, these expenses can reach upwards of $167,895, which demands careful budgeting and planning.

Healthcare Costs

Healthcare is a major expense in retirement. With fluctuating Medicare premiums and additional out-of-pocket expenses, the estimated healthcare costs over 35 years can exceed $263,900. This figure underscores the importance of planning for higher healthcare costs in later life.

Here are a few retirement calculators to estimate if you are on track and if you need additional savings:

Quick Calculator (

Retirement Calculator From AARP - How Much to Save?

Retirement Calculator - Ramsey (

What Type of Costs To Consider:

Do you own a home?  If so, making sure it is paid off before retirement can make a difference in your cost output.   The home will also be a secondary savings account - I like to refer to it as a hidden nest egg.   If you are married and need long term care, it is likely that the house will be excluded in calculating the amount to spend before Medicaid will cover the cost of long term care for a spouse that needs care.

Retirement isn't just about covering basic needs. It also includes transportation, entertainment and other lifestyle expenses. Over 35 years, these costs can amount to around $506,905, highlighting the need for a comprehensive budget that includes leisure and lifestyle expenses.

Total Retirement Cost Estimation

Adding up these expenses, the total cost of living 35 years in retirement average $1,756,370.  Use your current spending as a way to determine what your actual estimated costs will be. This figure is a stark reminder of the financial demands of a long retirement period.

Income Sources in Retirement

Social Security benefits play a crucial role in retirement income. However, they must often be supplemented with personal savings and investments to cover the total estimated costs. What other income will you have?  Pensions, rental income, and royalties may be additional income sources.

Strategies for Effective Retirement Planning

Saving Strategies

Saving 15% of income and employing automated savings plans can bolster retirement funds. Starting early and being consistent is key to building a substantial nest egg.  If your employer has a match or savings plan, take advantage of it to the fullest extent.

Preparing for Near-Retirement

For those nearing retirement age with insufficient funds, exploring ways to boost income, pay off debts and cut costs is crucial. Every dollar saved or earned can make a significant difference.  Consider a long-term care policy that is a Qualified Partnership Program. 

Adjusting Lifestyle and Spending

Managing expenses and lifestyle to fit retirement income is vital. This may involve making tough choices about spending and lifestyle to ensure financial stability in the later years.  The Ramsy calculator above will give some great ideas.  Also, reading the book and adjusting health lifestyle, may (but will not guarantee) that healthcare costs will be manageable.


Plan early for financial and healthcare goals using the old saying, The Best Time to Plant a Tree was Thirty Years Ago and the Second Best is Today.  Start now using the tools, goals, and knowledge available to you.  Talk to a financial planner and if you have not planned before retirement and need long-term care, reach out to NW Estate Law, LLC to help with a long-term care roadmap.


For more detailed insights and data, refer to the original Yahoo Finance article:

"Retirement Planning: Here’s How Much You’ll Need To Save If You Live to 100".

Client Success Stories

Mount Hood Senior Solutions
February 7, 2022.
We value and appreciate all of their hard work. Always a pleasure to work with! Communicates effectively and in a timely manner. Highly recommend
Nicole Lu
December 7, 2020.
We used Meredith for our estate planning and cohabitation contract recently after we bought a house. She was very responsive, very Covid aware/safe and lovely to work with.
Daniel Lee
January 7, 2020.
We had a great experience working with Meredith when putting together our estate planning documentation. She was always professional and courteous, explaining legal concepts and terminology in a way that was straightforward for us to understand. Meredith was responsive and open to answering our questions so we could fully evaluate different options. She provided sound recommendations for us to consider based on our current position and point in life. Even given the gravity and importance of the estate planning process, Meredith put us at ease and made us feel comfortable coming to decisions and documenting outcomes that work best for us. We intend to work with Meredith for future needs that we may have, and would highly recommend working with her to others.
Floyd Frick
March 28, 2019.
The best! .... I used Meredith to get me thru an estate settlement. It went smooth. Thanks.
Christine Borchert
August 9, 2018.
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