Retirement & Financial Planning Report

How much do you need to save for a comfortable retirement? The consulting firm Hewitt Associates calculates you should accumulate 11 times your end-of-career salary, in addition to Social Security and a pension. That is, if you retire at age 65 with a $90,000 salary, you should have about $1 million in savings if you want to maintain your lifestyle throughout retirement.

If you don’t expect to meet that 11-times goal, here are some tactics to enable you to live well with a smaller next egg:

* Relocate. If you have lived and worked in a high-cost area, move somewhere with a lower cost-of-living (and lower taxes). You might live just as well on two-thirds or three-quarters of your prior income.

* Delay Social Security. Most people who are no longer working start at age 62. By waiting, perhaps as late as age 70, you may be able to double the size of each monthly check.

* Pay down debt. Going into retirement, you should be clear of your credit card debt, mortgage payments, etc. You’ll have more to spend on other items. Plus, you’ll have the option of selling a debt-free house and moving into a smaller place if you run short of cash.