Many folks wonder can I retire at 60 with $300k? The short answer is yes, but there’s a catch – you’ll need to embrace a modest standard of living. Let’s break it down to see if it could work for you.
First, let’s talk about Social Security. It’s an important source of income for retirees. The amount you get depends on your earnings during your working years. The more you earned, the more you’ll receive in retirement, up to a certain limit.
When you decide to start collecting Social Security also matters. You can start as early as age 62, but your benefits will be smaller. The full retirement age is around 66, and waiting until then gets you the maximum benefit. Social Security payments also get adjusted each year for inflation.
In 2022, the average retiree gets about $1,657 per month from Social Security. Keep in mind; this can vary based on your earnings history.
Investments and Savings
Your retirement account could also provide income. On average, retirement accounts earn about 5% annually. With $300,000 in savings, that’s about $15,000 a year. If you only use the returns and don’t touch the principal, you’ll have some income from your savings.
Income Before Social Security
The first few years of retirement, especially if you retire at 60, can be financially tight. If you start collecting Social Security at 62, your benefits will be reduced.
For instance, with an average Social Security benefit, you’d get about $1,160 per month. Combined with investment income, you’re looking at around $2,410 per month.
Living on this budget can be a challenge. If you retire at 60, you’d have to rely on your $15,000 in investment returns and not much else.
Dipping into your retirement account principal is tempting but risky. Imagine withdrawing $19,884 per year, in addition to your returns.
Over six years, you’d be left with just $119,304 from your original $300,000. That’s not a secure financial plan. It’s better to wait until full retirement age for Social Security benefits.
Don’t forget about taxes. Whether you owe them in retirement depends on your income sources. Social Security benefits and retirement account withdrawals may be taxed. It’s a good idea to check if you’ll owe taxes.
Annual Cost of Living
With about $35,000 in yearly income, you’ll need to budget carefully. Expenses like housing, groceries, utilities, taxes, and insurance can add up. Also, keep in mind that costs tend to rise over time due to inflation.
Living on $35,000 is possible, but it depends on your location and lifestyle. Some places are more retirement-friendly than others.
Reasons for Optimism
Experts suggest aiming for about two-thirds to three-quarters of your pre-retirement income during retirement. Remember, you’ll have fewer work-related expenses in retirement, so you might need less money than you think.
Retiring at 60 with $300,000 is possible, but it’s not easy. Most people need to wait until full retirement age to make it work. If you want to retire early, be prepared for financial challenges.
Planning for retirement can be complex, and it’s a good idea to consult with a financial advisor who can help you make the right decisions. Use tools like a retirement calculator to get a clearer picture of your retirement readiness.