Although Edward Jones recommends that retirees start with a plan to withdraw 4% of their retirement savings each year, Americans have a widely varying idea of how much they will need, the investment firm found in a survey of 1,011 people.

Thirty-four percent have no idea how much they will need to withdraw each year, and 25% expect to use up more than 10% of their savings each year. For those already retired, 15% are planning on drawing down 10% or more of their savings each year.

Drawdown expectations varied widely depending on income, too. For those with a household income of more than $100,000, for example, 50% expect to spend less than 10% of their retirement savings each year. By comparison, for those with a household income of between $35,000 and $50,000, 33% expect to spend more than 10% annually.

“While it is difficult to estimate exactly how much Americans will spend during their retirement years, there are a number of factors to consider when building a retirement plan, such as health care risks, changes in Social Security and the type of lifestyle they want to lead,” says Scott Thoma, investment policy committee member at Edward Jones.

“It is important they work with their financial adviser to make sure their savings strategies are in line with their retirement goals, as well as incorporating reasonable expectations for acceptable withdrawal rates, which we believe should start in the neighborhood of 4%,” says Thoma. “Ultimately, how much income they desire in retirement will determine how much they need to have to retire, so a well thought-out retirement strategy is essential.”

— Lee Barney writes for Money Management Executive, a SourceMedia publication.

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