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Ariely on Retirement Planning

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The conventional wisdom is that after retiring, clients will need 75% to 80% of their final monthly salary to maintain their lifestyles. Based on some early results, behavioral scientist Dan Ariely thinks they’ll actually want to have about 130%.

Ariely notes that historical data about how much retirees spend doesn’t mean that’s how much they want to spend. His research shows that in retirement, people have great plans to travel, go to the theater, take classes, and so on, but often don’t have the money to do it. When advisors underestimate how much income their clients will need for the life they really want to lead in retirement, especially in the early years, “people end up doing less than they wanted to do.”