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Ignore the Retirement Alarmists: $1 Million Is More Than Enough for Most American Retirees

There are no two ways about it: Saving for retirement is important, and it's something we do pretty poorly here in the United States.

Having said that, this is no excuse for telling Americans that $1 million isn't enough for retirement. Although every individual has unique circumstances, the vast majority of Americans would get by just fine if they had $1 million post-tax dollars to fall back on if they retired tomorrow.

That's why The Motley Fool's Brian Stoffel takes issue with a recent article from USA Today that calls this number into question. The article makes the fair point that "it all depends on your lifestyle -- the one you're living now, and the one you want to live in retirement." However, Brian believes some major points were entirely overlooked, while some assertions were outright false.

Watch the video below to see what he thinks was missed -- and what it means for your own retirement plans.

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Comments from our Foolish Readers

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  • Report this Comment On May 05, 2014, at 10:29 PM, vchan2177 wrote:

    There are a lot of deductions in your wage paycheck that you do NOT pay during your retirement. e.g. 1. Social Security Contributions 2. State disability contributions 3. Medicare contributions 4. 401k contributions 5. Pension contributions 6. Union dues. For some people. their gross yearly pay will decrease but their net take home pay may increase!!! This is because you no longer have to pay these deductions and you will start receiving social security, 401k payments, pension payments. You should ignore other people advice and simply do the math.

  • Report this Comment On May 05, 2014, at 10:33 PM, dgates wrote:

    Given all the financial advice lately one expects EVERYONE to be a millionaire, most several times over, just to retire. Let's be real, it just isn't going to happen. I appreciate society's awakening toward the need to save for retirement, as I used get grief for being called "cheap" by my relative's adolescents for not showing off enough. Now I'm getting the last laugh on that. However, writing down a million dollars and being told it is not even close, is no way to give financial advice. Thanks for the fresh dose of reality in this article.

  • Report this Comment On January 26, 2015, at 9:58 AM, ohiodale wrote:

    It depends on how much you earn today whether a million will be enough. I plan to have a million or a little more but will take a 50-60% pay cut on my net income. I am not looking forward to retiring on $80- $90k per year and really do not see how I will be able to maintain my current life style. I calculated I would need $1.8 million and that is all but impossible for me. Also, who came up with the 4% rule? I plan to spend 5%. You could invest in 2% bonds and spend 5% per year an your money would last 27 years. How long do people think they are going to live?

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Brian Stoffel

Brian Stoffel has been a Fool since 2008, and a financial journalist for the Motley Fool since 2010. He tends to follow the investment strategies of Fool-founder David Gardner, looking for the most innovative companies driving positive change for the future.

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