One all too common way to think about retirement that I see among prospective clients is to just save and invest as much as possible and see how far that'll take them when they reach their 60s. Investors can do better than that.
The average life expectancy in the United States for a female is now over 80 and about 79 for a male. When Franklin Delano Roosevelt created Social Security, the average life expectancy of an American was 61. A married couple, with both spouses having worked full time and putting off retirement until they reach FRA (full retirement age), could receive nearly $60,000 in Social Security benefit annually, with a cost-of-living-adjustment adding to that every year. That’s not enough to live on for a comfortable retirement, but it is still a decent-sized chunk of income that will pay a lot of bills.
From my perspective as an advisor, I believe the retirement-age question should come before the questions about the financial value of investment accounts. That’s the wrong starting point. It implies the wrong motivation on behalf of the advisor, too, that they are interested only in the assets-under-management fee.