What Is Considered a Good Monthly Retirement Income

by Sachin

A good retirement income is akin to a soft landing after a lifetime of work. Determining a ‘good’ monthly retirement income can be intricate as it significantly hinges on individual circumstances, lifestyle preferences, and the living costs of a specific region.

The evaluation of a good retirement income often involves considering multiple factors such as healthcare costs, housing, and leisure activities. This article delves into the various elements that help in determining a good monthly retirement income, offering a comprehensive guide to planning a secure and comfortable post-work life.

Why It’s So Important To Plan Your Retirement Income?

Planning your retirement income is a pivotal step towards securing a comfortable and financially stable life post-employment. This becomes increasingly important with the rising average life expectancy, necessitating more substantial retirement funds to sustain a longer post-retirement life. Adequate planning transcends merely ensuring financial security; it empowers individuals to maintain their desired lifestyle and effectively navigate unexpected life events that could otherwise destabilize their financial footing.

For homeowners, exploring solutions like reverse mortgages emerges as a prudent idea. Reverse mortgages allow homeowners aged 62 and above to convert a portion of their home equity into cash, providing an additional source of income while retaining homeownership. This can significantly augment their financial resources, enabling a more comfortable and worry-free retirement. 

If this is something you want to pursue, it’s in your best interest to seek the advice of experts or reverse mortgage brokers, so that you can make an informed decision. These professionals will have the knowledge and experience to guide you through the process, ensuring that all legal and financial aspects are handled correctly. 

The essence of economic self-sufficiency achieved through diligent retirement planning is profound—it not only diminishes the likelihood of becoming a financial burden to the family but also unveils tax efficiency benefits, thereby significantly enhancing the net income available during retirement. Often envisioned as a phase to pursue deferred hobbies, travel, and revel in leisure activities, retirement can truly be enriching when backed by well-planned income.

This meticulous planning minimizes reliance on social benefits, fosters adaptability to market conditions, and when orchestrated with the guidance of financial professionals, cultivates a realm of informed decisions optimizing retirement income strategies. 

In essence, planning your retirement income is a proactive measure, laying a robust foundation for a financially secure, enjoyable, and fulfilled retirement life, making the golden years truly golden.

The 70-80% Spending Rule

The 70-80% rule emerged from financial planning practices over the years as a simple heuristic to help individuals estimate their retirement income needs. Its rationale is rooted in the assumption that certain expenses will decrease once an individual retires, such as commuting costs, work attire, and contributions to retirement savings plans. 

However, other expenses, like healthcare or leisure activities, might increase. The rule gained traction due to its simplicity and its ability to provide a quick ballpark figure for retirement planning.


The 70-80% rule is a broad guideline, with its relevance varying significantly among individuals based on their income, lifestyle, and retirement goals. For example, those with higher pre-retirement income might need less than the suggested 70-80% to sustain their standard of living, as a larger share might have been allocated to savings or discretionary spending. 

Conversely, individuals envisioning extensive travel or engaging in new hobbies might find the 70-80% rule inadequate. Additionally, this rule may not cater to unexpected expenses or economic downturns, which could notably affect a retiree’s financial landscape.


Given the limitations of the 70-80% rule, exploring alternative strategies for determining retirement income needs is prudent. Some alternative approaches include:

  • Detailed expense forecasting: Creating a detailed forecast of anticipated expenses in retirement, accounting for both fixed and variable costs, can provide a more accurate estimate of income needs.
  • Dynamic spending strategies: Adopting a flexible spending approach that adjusts withdrawal rates based on market conditions and personal circumstances.
  • Customized income replacement ratios: Working with a financial advisor to develop a personalized income replacement ratio based on a thorough analysis of current expenses, future aspirations, and potential financial risks.
  • Lifestyle-based planning: Assessing retirement income needs based on desired lifestyle and activities post-retirement, rather than pre-retirement income.

Systematic Investment Plans (SIPs)

Systematic investment plans offer a structured method for individuals to save towards retirement. With an SIP, you invest a specific amount of money regularly, for instance, monthly, into a chosen mutual fund. This practice mirrors the concept of a savings jar but with the added advantage of potential growth over time. This habitual saving contributes to accumulating a substantial amount for retirement.

One of the remarkable features of SIPs is the compounding effect. This signifies that you earn returns on your initial investment, and subsequently, you earn returns on those returns, creating a cycle that continues over time. Hence, in the long term, your money could grow substantially more than what you initially invested. 

Moreover, SIPs provide the flexibility to start with a modest amount; a regular small contribution every month can accumulate significantly over time. SIPs also offer a cushion against market volatility as you purchase more units when prices are low and fewer when prices are high, which could be favorable in the long term.

There’s a broad array of mutual funds available, enabling you to select based on your comfort with risk. By diversifying your investments across different types of funds through SIPs, you can mitigate risks and potentially achieve better returns, making it an intelligent strategy for planning your retirement income.

Individual Retirement Accounts

Individual retirement accounts, or IRAs, serve as special savings containers aimed at helping you store away money for your retirement. Each year, you have the option to tuck away a certain portion of your money into an IRA, with the government dictating the maximum amount you can save. A neat aspect of IRAs is the tax benefits they offer. With a traditional IRA, the money you save isn’t taxed right away but will be taxed when you decide to take it out during retirement. 

On the flip side, with a Roth IRA, you pay taxes on the money as you save it, but not when you withdraw it later on. Your IRA isn’t just a static savings box, you have the ability to invest the money in a variety of avenues like stocks, bonds, or mutual funds, allowing your savings to grow over time. 

The choice between a traditional and a Roth IRA, as well as the investment decisions, give you some flexibility in managing your retirement savings, making IRAs a valuable tool in planning for a financially secure retirement.


Securing a comfortable retirement income is a nuanced endeavor that demands thoughtful planning and strategic actions throughout a person’s working life. Whether it’s aligning with the 70-80% rule, utilizing systematic investment plans, individual retirement accounts, or exploring other financial avenues like reverse mortgages, each approach requires a good understanding of your current financial standing, future lifestyle aspirations, and potential economic variables.

A helpful benchmark comes from a statistic noting that the average monthly retirement income for Americans aged 65 and over is $6,271. This figure illuminates the importance of proactive financial planning to ensure a stable income that meets individual needs and preferences during retirement. 

By embracing a proactive stance, seeking professional financial advice, and adapting to changing economic landscapes, individuals can navigate the complex terrain of retirement planning, ensuring their golden years are truly enriching and worry-free.

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