Retirement Savings Question: With a twist ?

I have searched for this answer on several sites and not had any luck. You all are awesome with good, honest and timely answers so I know this is the place to find out my answer.

Most people ask about saving for retirement questions about how much money they need to retire and live comfortably because when they retire so does their income they are accustomed to living on. Since most people will not make 100% of their normal monthly income, they need to know " How much money do I need in savings for retirement "?

My situation is different, I am retired from the military so all my medical costs, dental, vision, prescriptions is all covered for life. I also receive monthly benefits (Income) that I have been living comfortably on for several years now. Since all medical/health costs are covered, no surprises, and my monthly income is good enough for me to live comfortably on the rest of my life and bar something unusual, will continue until my death.

So in effect it is the same as being comfortably working until my death. So since these benefits and income should not stop, how much should I keep in savings which would really only be needed for an unexpected repair or expense or a large purchase or something.

I ask because instead of hording these pennies, I can use that money to buy things I want or do things I want instead of just having a large sum in savings when I am essentially retired now and have this ongoing income.

Thank you in advance for your help.


When I first started investing in stocks and mutuals, I would pull out my initial investment when I reached a certain percentage of profit earned.

There was no consistency in the goal because my income varied so greatly from year to year; there was no science, just random. And sometimes I would re-invest that initial amount into another investment; other times it might just sit in a non-interest bearing or small interest bearing savings account to be used for emergencies, the new car…whatever.

It would allow you to use the profit to continue to earn interest but also keep an emergency fund or fun money going from your initial investment.

After awhile, it might give you a better feel for how much you need to keep liquid for emergencies. If you needed more, you might have to pay some early withdrawal penalties, like on CDs, etc but the money would be there.

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First, thank you for your service, we are all grateful for your sacrifices.

It’s true that the military provides fantastic benefits. However there are a couple of benefits that it falls short on. The first is Long-term Care benefits. Not a fun topic, but a reality we all face, as roughly 1 in 2 people will need those services at some point in their life. This could mean providing in-home help or installing ADA complaint items inside of the house, etc. The only reason I say this is because of the astronomical cost of that care that could be far higher in cost than the military benefits coming in.

Second, is that it is always very important to have emergency savings for the unforeseen future. You just never know what life will bring. These savings could be in a high-yielding money market or short-term treasuries, so that you at least are earning something.

However, all this being said…by all means, life should bring happiness and creating a spending plan that provides that happiness is also important. So long as it doesn’t hinder your financial future.

Hope this helps!


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Rick, Thank you so much for your service. I’m so glad your medical benefits are so good and that isn’t something you have to worry about.

I’m afraid you’re not going to get a definitive answer on this because we don’t know other circumstances in your life. Might you have large home repair bills, or how old is your car if you even own one. Is there anyone else depending on your income? There are so many variables in life. The best answer I can give is to make sure you have enough in your savings to be comfortable keeping these things in mind and allow for cost of living increases. Then, yes please enjoy your life.

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You need to ask your self. What do I mean by retiring? What do I want to do when I retire? Do you want to go many vacations or travel the world? Retiring for you could mean something completely different for someone else. So you need to ask your self and be honest, like the Bible says at Hebrews 13:18 being honest in all your dealings. That includes your self. So ask your self. What kind of life do I want to live? Is what you are doing what you want to do for the rest of your life? And as far as yr money, is what your getting all that your going to get as long as you live? Nothing else? So it really depends on u. What do you want to do with your money? Some say to have a emergency fund set aside for at least six to 9 months. Do you see your self wanting or needing to do that? Not one person can really answer that for you. They can give you advice, but in the end, it’s up to u. Why dont you pray about it and wait on God to answer the prayers that’s what I would do. Like micah 7:7 said he waited on His God. Cas he was in a distressing time. But he waited on Him, which is His personal name is Jehovah. But wait on Him, he does answer prayers as Psalm 65:2 says. And if you need more advice go to there u will find much needed Spiritual guidance as to many things, including how to use your money in a wise way…like Eccl says money is a protection but wisdom preserves alive its owner.

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Have you considered the difference between the cost of your monthly needs and wants, and how much is left over? It doesn’t provide an answer, but it would give you a starting point to decide how much free cash you really have. If there isn’t much left over, you might want to re-evaluate how much you spend on wants.

Think about your biggest possible “normal” emergency. If you own a house, do you have enough cash to replace the roof, furnace or siding? If you own a car, do you have enough cash to buy a new car? For some people, that might be $5000. For others, it could be $50,000.

Do you want to or need to help with children’s expenses, or do you have a partner who’s needs you need to consider?

Is your income static, or do you get raises every year to keep up with the cost of living?

Even with a regular income and medical insurance, think about how much your living costs could change as you age. As @michael.metzger pointed out, it’s important to think about your housing and personal care needs as you age. I’d continue to live under your means, avoid any kind of debt, and save for your future. In the end, the more you save, the better. There’s no rule that says you must spend everything you bring in.

Thank you for your reply. I am single, my children are grown and on their own. I have 2 cars, fairly new, 10 years old or so in good shape. I have a lot of available credit and single digit debt to credit ratio. My home is less than 10 years old but I plan on selling it and moving back to Tennessee or South East Kentucky in a year or so. Not sure if I want to buy land and build a home or just rent since it is just me. So if an emergency situation occurred I would be ok. About 1/3 or more of my income is extra each month but when I get a few bills paid off then 1/2 of my income will be extra income monthly. Yes I get yearly COLA increases. I have actually been working since December to pay off bills and hoard pennys and it has made a big difference and helped a lot.

I find myself saving and saving and building my income as much as I can and I just feel I should not worry about it so much and enjoy life, travel, have fun while I can.