Retirement nest eggWouldn't it be great if you could plot your retirement with a single, simple mathematical equation? Imagine plugging in the numbers and, presto, you know precisely what it will take to make your golden years gleam.

We're not there yet, but a new study by Lincoln Financial Group (LNC) is getting closer. It says we need to have 10 times our annual income for retirement. That's 10 x Income = Goal. The desired amount will shift depending on what we're making throughout our working life, but the 10x benchmark always applies.

If you're making $60,000 a year in salary, dividends and anything else, you should aim for 10 times $60,000, or $600,000 in assets by the time you retire. If your income dips to $50,000, then readjust to $500,000.

Lincoln arrived at its magic number by surveying 1,200 retirees of varying means. The respondents didn't rely on receiving an inheritance or selling their home or business, or on redeeming shares of their old company's stock, the study said.

"The 10x assets-to-income ratio is a guide that can help people determine how they can be better prepared for retirement," said Chuck Cornelio, president of Defined Contribution at Lincoln Financial Group.

The experts at Lincoln added that we should also get advice from a financial professional, enroll in an IRA or some other retirement fund, have an investment strategy and save more in good years.

Ignoring the Variables

"Simple rules of thumb like 10-times-the-annual-income are a good way for people to quickly gauge their situation," Jean C. Setzfand, vice president of financial security for AARP, told DailyFinance. "However, people's financial situation and, more importantly, retirement plans, are more diverse now than ever before." Would-be retirees should use self-assessment tools that take into account many factors, she explained.

Ann K. Trainor, vice president of Investments at UBS Financial Services (UBS) in Westfield, N.J., said relying on an arbitrary number may not meet a retiree's needs.

"Our team doesn't use a 10x formula for our clients," she said. "There are too many variables in our clients' lives for a one-size-fits-all approach. Will they retire at 60, 65 or 70? Are they healthy? Should we anticipate additional costs for health care as they get older? Should we anticipate 20 years of retirement or 30?"

A recent survey by another company, Sun Life Financial (SLF), offered a far dimmer view of retirement than Lincoln's. More than 90% of respondents had no idea how much they'll spend on health care after leaving the workforce, and 43% were not at all confident they could cover the costs. No wonder, given that 29% of workers in another yet another published survey said they had less than $1,000 in savings.

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Reverse Mortgage Loans can be the solution to retirement , it is specifically designed to help homeowners over the age of 62.

June 18 2013 at 3:01 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

funny how the investment companies want you to work and invest more so they can take it away again.

June 14 2011 at 9:55 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Derrick Family

Americans are losing 5-years of investment growth due to Washington's negligence with taxpayer dollars. Just think, for each time a dollar changes hands; Washington takes about 25% (corporate, personal, etc.). I work, pay taxes on the money I make; save for years to buy a car for &30,000 then the Auto Retailer pays taxes on the $10,000 profit; after they pay the Manufacturer $20,000 and the Manufacturer pays taxes on the $1,000 profit with the overhead going to pay salaries (each of whom in turn will pay taxes) Washington is taxing the same dollar many times over to come up with their $3,000,000,000,000/year tax-income...and they spend MORE than they can take in??? Sorry, but there is NO sympathy from me for this governmental negligence!

Obama just bought (6) new limosine's for his "fleet".... can we afford this given the present economy? Do you think he's sympathetic to our plight?....Time for US to give him some "CHANGE" he promised us...

June 14 2011 at 5:41 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Derrick Family

The blame game just doesn't work any more...Republican/Democrat alike....WASHINGTON is run amuck! Politicians have become "elitists" who take NO responsibility for their actions and have themselves become the "TAKERS" of our society. One term in office and they are home free...with full benefits for life! If there is anybody to blame it's the voters who fail to get them OUT!!! It's the voters who don't HOUND their legislators and Congressmen/women for changing all that is, me....all of us!!! Stop the ridiculuous blame game....our prisons are full of adults and minors who ALL blame somebody else for their own actions....grow-up!!! THIS is America's real problem!!! Step Up America....we can change Washington!!!

As for the so called "journalists" who twist and report silly subjects instead of political reporting on corruption and greed (that some of us do on our own)...well, they are part of the problem too (watch this post get edited-out)!

June 14 2011 at 5:10 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Lots of stupid democrats on here...I would say that they are still pointing fingers at Bush....unbelievable how stupid these people truly are.....and rightfully so....why not praise Obama....he just wants to give everyone entitlements...freebies all the way...and at the same time spinning this country down to destruction...another 4 years of his wasteful bailouts and idiocy and retirement age will be around 80 yrs old....the man is incompitent...and a puppet for the wacky american hating liberals..who by the way are the George Soros crowd who by the way is wanted in 2 countries for financial ruin of economy ..hmmm...sound familiar???? as much as you can....unless somebody takes action against the wasteful administration that's in power....we are all doomed.

June 13 2011 at 4:02 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Nice idea, but it doesn't work with interest rates between 0.25% and 1.0% You need at least 5.0% interest to have a chance of retirement. This is why 401k's are only good for the investment companies and your employer. They make you think you have some retirement benefits when if fact you don't.

June 13 2011 at 3:58 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

INTERESTING - when I vote THUMBS DOWN - the tally ADDS +2.

When I vote THUMBS UP - the tally SUBTRACTS - 3!!!

June 13 2011 at 2:16 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Rosalie has it right. How many more illegals will our government make us support?

June 13 2011 at 1:06 PM Report abuse +5 rate up rate down Reply

I got news for everyone bashing Bush and/or Obama. The biggest reason the bailouts needed to start with was because BIG BUSINESS played with the books, made everybody think things were hunky doory until it all collapsed around them. It was a handful (maybe two handfuls) of very rich influential people who were greedy, self-serving, and self-indulgent without any regard to their moral and ethical responsibilities to anyone. All they saw was a way to make a few extra dollars at the expense of their employees and ultimately at the expense of the taxpayers. Big business owes the general public for their success because we are the ones buying their products and services. When greed takes over and causes them to be underhanded and deceitful, then they have lost perspective. Much the same has happened with our government, both on the state and federal levels. It is time we all raised our moral and ethical standards. Common sense and decency seemed to have been thrown to the wayside in order to make the all-mighty dollar with no regard for anyone else. Remember when Kennedy said - "Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country?" Remember a time of personal responsibility? You very seldom ever heard the term "deadbeat Dad" and newborns were not found in the trash or in the river somewhere. You can't blame EVERYTHING on the politicians (although they DO deserve a good deal of the blame), but we as a society need to do better ourselves, have more self-respect, more self-discipline, and more self-reliance. The government created a program to give a helping hand in a time of need and way too many people have turned it into a way a life only because it is easier then getting out there and being a responsible contributing member of the system. Now not only are there way too many American citizens working the system, now we have illegal immigrants working the system as well. We all need to make some changes. We start with ourselves and hopefully we will be able to become the great nation of people we used to be. And one more thing, let us all remember that we are one nation under God, lest we will be a nation gone under.

June 13 2011 at 1:04 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

10 TIMES? This is such a joke, Bush left this country in a mess. Retirement has gone to almost nothing, home lost and being 62 years old, there is no way I can even begin to recover. A life-time of savings gone so who can afford to retire? I have already warned my husband he better start liking dog food! Besides, this information is not new, in fact, it simply a re-cycling of prior data. For those of us who did everything "right" and it is all wrong or gone now, the only hope we have left is they don't start messign with SS as that is all a lot of us will have to exist (note I did NOT say live), but exist on.

June 13 2011 at 12:41 PM Report abuse -4 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Sandra's comment

If you have to blame one person for your woes... sounds like you were not one of those who "did everything right" that you mention. And of course you list an entitlement program for your personal bailout. Come on where is the personal accountability anymore.

June 13 2011 at 3:49 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply