Once you hit your retirement number, you're free to take as many walks on the beach as you like. 

Your "retirement number" represents the value that you need to have in your retirement accounts before you can retire. Once you hit that number, the thinking goes, you're free and clear to never work another day in your life.

Before diving into what the average American's retirement number is, let's get one thing straight: There's no such person named "Average American." There are as many different retirement numbers out there as there are Americans. An endless procession of variables -- lifestyle, family size, location, etc. -- will affect what your retirement number is.

So why, you might ask, should we even bother seeing what the average American's retirement number is, anyway? The answer is that it gives you a baseline. In the slideshow below, I'll highlight how the average American's retirement number is calculated, and you can adjust this based on your own life circumstances.

Will you be ready when your Golden Years come calling?