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What’s Your Number?

What’s Your Number?

June 06, 2022

Understanding Your Retirement Number

If you have been thinking about retirement for a few years, you might remember a big financial service company that ran an advertising campaign about finding your retirement number. So how do you know what your number is? How do you know if the current market pullback is a threat to “your number”?

Well, a key to answering those questions is to understand how you will know when you have enough money? Most of us will say we need MORE. But how much?

If I told you that I could double your income in 18 months with only 5 more hours of work per week, would you be interested?

Well, what if I told you that you could triple your income in 18 months with only 10 more hours per week? Would you be interested?

At what point do you say, no thanks, that’s enough?

Aligning Money with Values

We have all heard that money can’t buy you happiness, but actually, for most of us, an influx of cash could often solve a few problems and make things easier. And the research is out there that shows that increasing wealth does make people happier, to a point. Then as the wealth increases, it often makes them sad, anxious, and depressed.

I submit that a great way to answer exactly how much is enough for your family is to consider your overall goals and values.

  • What are your monthly bills?
  • How many hours do you want to work each week?
  • Do you want kids? How many?
  • Do you like the idea of your kids going to the local public schools? Or not?
  • Do you want to help your kids pay for college? How much?
  • Do you want to stop working for money someday? How soon?

You might notice a theme that runs through all these questions. That is my belief that money is a tool that allows us to serve our values. Be clear on your values and you have a much better chance of being clear on how much money you will need. And you will likely find the number shifting from time to time as your values change.

The point is not a hard, fast, permanent number that you need to chase. It’s a values scorecard you can use to measure and assess from time to time.

Choosing the Right Financial Planner

If you would like my help to sort out how your values affect your financial plans, I would be honored to be of service. Follow this LINK to find a time for us to talk.

If you would like to talk with a couple of experienced, well-trained financial planners, CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professionals, a great place to start is here.

As you visit with financial planners, I suggest a couple of things to check:

  • Is the advisor always the client’s advocate – a fiduciary advisor?
  • Is the advisor paid by clients, not financial product manufacturer or distribution network? That would be a fee-only advisor.

These two points help assure that you are working with a professional who is committed to your best interest at all times. It seems sort of obvious to me that a professional would work in this way, but it’s not automatic.

A fiduciary, fee-first, CFP® professional can help you make great retirement income choices and develop a comprehensive financial plan that is driven by your goals and priorities and addresses all aspects of your financial life. With a big-picture approach, you will be better prepared to understand your options at every step along the way.

Yes, I am a CFP® professional. I’m always a fiduciary and I work on a fee basis. And yes, I’m still taking on a few great families to be part of my financial planning practice.

If this article has you thinking about your own circumstances, contact my office at I am always happy to meet with people who are working on their retirement plans. Dunncreek Advisors does not provide legal or tax advice, nor is this article intended to do so.