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Here’s How Much Money You Actually Need to Retire at 55

How to approach your retirement savings so you can get off the 9-to-5 grind early and spend more time traveling

By | Stacey Leasca |

Most people work 90,000 hours in their lifetime, which is one-third of the average lifespan, according to a study from Gettysburg College. Want to shave a few hours off that average, cut your time on the 9-to-5 grind short, and get to retirement early (so you can spend more time traveling)? We talked to a financial educator about early retirement — specifically, how to retire at age 55 — to shed some light on the subject.

“As the proverb goes, the best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago,” Danetha Doe, a financial wellness educator, tells Travel + Leisure of when the best time to start planning for retirement would be. “The second best time is today.”

In other words, it is never too soon to start saving for retirement, especially if you want to retire early.

According to Doe, those looking to retire early should start saving as early as their 20s or 30s. But, “don’t despair if you didn’t start saving in your younger years,” she says. “It is also never too late to start saving for retirement. However, the longer you wait to start, the more strategic you will need to be to ensure you save enough for your retirement years.

To figure out just how much money you need to save to retire by 55, Doe suggests using a common rule of thumb: take your current salary and multiply it by 10. Keep in mind that this is just a jumping off point — there are many other factors you’ll need to consider. To that end, Doe takes this formula and builds off of it. She offers the following example:

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